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Monica

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It does seem to be a common allergy for surgeons, needed revisions!
 

KathyLauren

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Well, I made an appointment for pelvic floor physio for the first week of January. I don't have great hopes for its success, but it is indeed possible that it will help. At any rate, it will kill some time while waiting to get in line for a revision.

I asked for recommendations for a physio on a local trans Facebook page. It was my lesbian next-door neighbour, who follows that page in connection with her volunteer work, who responded. They have a two-year-old girl, and it turns out that her partner, who is the bio mother, needed pelvic floor physio after giving birth. They highly recommended someone who is only a half-hour drive away. They couldn't vouch for the physio being trans-friendly, but said she is at least queer-friendly.

I don't mind if people notice that I am trans, but I hate outing myself. I'd much rather they figure it out for themselves and then stay cool about it. However, in this case, it was necessary ("Reason for referral?"). The receptionist I spoke to on the phone seemed fine about it.

*sigh* This is what passes for progress in my life these days.
 

Donica

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Hang in there Kathy. They will eventually have to give you a revision if you keep after them. Is it possible for you to file a grievance?
 

KathyLauren

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There's a Facebook page I am on where the subject of discussion is the trainer aircraft that I flew in the air force. One of the regular posters there is the first (along with two of her classmates) female pilot in the air force. I was there when she was a student plot, and I remember her quite well. She became quite famous.

I have posted on the FB group for a while. When swapping flying stories on the group, I have never hesitated to give the dates of my experiences. So the lady who was the first female pilot has seen me talking about flying before she graduated. And I know that she has seen my posts because she has 'liked' many of them. I figured that she must guessed about my gender.

So today, I sent her a friend request, which she accepted. She had, indeed figured out my background, and had it confirmed by a mutual friend, to whom I had come out last year.

What I especially like about this is that it was no big deal to her.

And that has been the case with all my military friends from the old days. Back then, coming out as transgender would have gotten me a lot of hatred and bullying, as well as getting me kicked out of the air force. Today, those exact same people are older and wiser, and totally accepting. Society is indeed changing for the better.

I know that is not the case everywhere, but I think there is hope for the future.
 

KathyLauren

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Sometimes, not having my voice "pass" on the phone can be an advantage.

I got a call purporting to be from my bank, saying that there was a suspicious charge on my credit card. This call was a little more high-end than the typical phone credit card scam. It could have been believable except for one thing: instead of asking to speak to Kathy, they addressed me as "sir" and assumed I was the owner of the card. Which told me immediately that this was a scam: the real bank would have assumed that the male voice wasn't the owner.

I played along until they asked me to fetch my card and give them information off it. I said, "No, I am not going to do that because you are a thief, and you are trying to steal my credit card information. Good bye, a__h___!"

It was the third credit card scam call I've gotten this week. Be suspicious! Never give anyone information off your credit card unless you placed the call and know whom you are talking to.

If in doubt, tell the caller that you will hang up and call back. Ask him for a case number so that you can be connected to the same person. The real bank will happily give you one, or give you another procedure for getting back to the same agent. Then hang up and call the security number on the back of your card. If it is a real suspicious charge call, this procedure will work (I have done it in the past.). If the caller won't play along, you know it is a scam.

[edit:] Oh, and wait a minute or more before calling the bank back. Some scammers will hold onto your line after you hang up, faking a dial tone and intercepting the return call.
 
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Donica

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There's a Facebook page I am on where the subject of discussion is the trainer aircraft that I flew in the air force. One of the regular posters there is the first (along with two of her classmates) female pilot in the air force. I was there when she was a student plot, and I remember her quite well. She became quite famous.

I have posted on the FB group for a while. When swapping flying stories on the group, I have never hesitated to give the dates of my experiences. So the lady who was the first female pilot has seen me talking about flying before she graduated. And I know that she has seen my posts because she has 'liked' many of them. I figured that she must guessed about my gender.

So today, I sent her a friend request, which she accepted. She had, indeed figured out my background, and had it confirmed by a mutual friend, to whom I had come out last year.

What I especially like about this is that it was no big deal to her.

And that has been the case with all my military friends from the old days. Back then, coming out as transgender would have gotten me a lot of hatred and bullying, as well as getting me kicked out of the air force. Today, those exact same people are older and wiser, and totally accepting. Society is indeed changing for the better.

I know that is not the case everywhere, but I think there is hope for the future.

Kathy! May I ask the name of the FB group your are referring to?

Good call on the scammer. I like to play with them sometimes, give them hope before I destroy their dreams lol. The truth is, your bank would never call you and ask for your credit card information. So this leads me to believe the scammer isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier. But, sadly, some folks do fall for these scams.
 
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Kenna

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I generally ask the scammers what their family/mother would think if they knew that they were lying all day to steal money from others. I've never heard anything back from them after this.
-Kenna
 

KathyLauren

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I had another very satisfying interaction on that Facebook page about my old air force jet. One of my old coursemates showed up and commented on one of my posts. He had been lurking for a while and had figured out for himself about my transition. We ended up talking at length on the phone about what we've been up to for the last 40 years, and the people we knew.

People in the group are able to figure out my story, and accept it, without making me the story. If someone figures out about my transition and isn't sure what they think of it, there is enough peer pressure in the group to indicate that the right thing to do is to just go with the flow. The result is that I can be myself without there being an elephant in the room.

All that from a group of ex-military people in their 60s and 70s, whom you would expect to be pretty conservative. I like it!
 

Donica

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After all Kathy, you have quite the history. And we, as well as your peers are all very proud of you. I'm proud to know you.

Hugs Fly Girl!
 

Monica

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I'm glad you are seeing that acceptance Kathy! When one interacts with others after a transition begins, there is always the question of how much explanation happens. "Am I better going into more discussion or do I just let things proceed organically?" At the very beginning I was kind of wanting to explain things a lot. After the initial period, I kind of was judging by other people's reactions how to go. In the the end, in my case, it isn't discussed or referred to at all. On one hand, that is just what I want. On the other hand, I don't want people to be afraid of the subject. For my job, we have training we do regarding overcoming internal prejudices. We have a discussion group and there is a mix of backgrounds in the group. One African American woman and myself offered up conversation. I could see that a lot of the older white members, people who I know are awesome people, were way too quiet. They were afraid of saying the wrong thing. I don't want people to feel that way about me or trans people. Sorry, I got on a tangent there. Guess I just wanted to point out the choices one face as to how much to say. Obviously, I'm choosing a lot right now. lol
 

KathyLauren

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I'm glad you are seeing that acceptance Kathy! When one interacts with others after a transition begins, there is always the question of how much explanation happens. "Am I better going into more discussion or do I just let things proceed organically?" At the very beginning I was kind of wanting to explain things a lot. After the initial period, I kind of was judging by other people's reactions how to go. In the the end, in my case, it isn't discussed or referred to at all. On one hand, that is just what I want. On the other hand, I don't want people to be afraid of the subject. For my job, we have training we do regarding overcoming internal prejudices. We have a discussion group and there is a mix of backgrounds in the group. One African American woman and myself offered up conversation. I could see that a lot of the older white members, people who I know are awesome people, were way too quiet. They were afraid of saying the wrong thing. I don't want people to feel that way about me or trans people. Sorry, I got on a tangent there. Guess I just wanted to point out the choices one face as to how much to say. Obviously, I'm choosing a lot right now. lol

I try to balance talking about being trans with not talking about it. How much of each is enough? On the one hand, I want to avoid hiding myself or the perceived need for others to keep a secret. On the other hand, I don't want discussions about me to detract from the very satisfying "war stories" that we share over a virtual beer.

So far, the balance seems to be working. Lots of people know about me and know that my history is no secret, yet I am not a subject of discussion on the page. I think that models good behaviour for the rest of society.
 

Linde

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I live mostly stealth, but I am retired and can reduce my interaction with strangers to a minimum. I found that people accept me being intersex without any problem, if I would say I am trans, it would be much harder o find acceptation here in the waiting room to heaven. It is still the thing that people believe trans is some kind of choice one makes, while intersex is out of my control, because I was born like this.
I don't know why they don't want to understand that being trans is not a choice but one was born this way?
Because of this attitude, I have to live stealth, because I cannot change about 22 + million people. Donna lives stealth for the same reason.

Hugs
Linde
 

KathyLauren

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Well, I made an appointment for pelvic floor physio for the first week of January. I don't have great hopes for its success, but it is indeed possible that it will help. At any rate, it will kill some time while waiting to get in line for a revision.

I asked for recommendations for a physio on a local trans Facebook page. It was my lesbian next-door neighbour, who follows that page in connection with her volunteer work, who responded. They have a two-year-old girl, and it turns out that her partner, who is the bio mother, needed pelvic floor physio after giving birth. They highly recommended someone who is only a half-hour drive away. They couldn't vouch for the physio being trans-friendly, but said she is at least queer-friendly.

I don't mind if people notice that I am trans, but I hate outing myself. I'd much rather they figure it out for themselves and then stay cool about it. However, in this case, it was necessary ("Reason for referral?"). The receptionist I spoke to on the phone seemed fine about it.

*sigh* This is what passes for progress in my life these days.

Time for an update.

I did see the pelvic floor physiotherapist in early January. I thanked my neighbour profusely for the recommendation, because she was excellent. She had never had a trans patient before, but she was totally cool. She works with both female and male clients, so I wasn't worried about her knowledge of my anatomy, although I did explain how they make a neo-clitoris, since that is my problem area and she won't have seen one of those before.

For those who have never been to one before, the initial consultation involves an internal exam. With my having a zero-depth vulvoplasty, she did the exam anally. The purpose is to check the position and function of the pelvic floor muscles.

She gave me exercises to do, kind of yoga-ish poses. I tried them. They didn't help. Some of them actually made things worse, so I stopped doing those ones.

I was back last week for a follow-up. She said that I had good muscle tone in my pelvic floor (i.e. no real problem with it). She still thinks there are some possibilities for progress with massage. I will try that.

In the meantime, I have an appointment with my doctor on Tuesday (assuming the roads are passable - big snow storm Monday!) I asked for an in-person appointment because I want her to do a physical exam to look for anything unusual. My vulva looks plausible to a non-expert, but, when it comes to the details, I have no idea what the surgeon was aiming for. My doctor isn't a surgeon, but she will have seen a few of these before, so she should have some idea if something is obviously not right. I want evidence to justify requesting a revision.

I think that I have two issues that interact. One is that my labia majora are extra-large. Given that I have a male pelvis, there just isn't much room between my legs for a lot of accessories. So any activity that involves standing, moving or sitting produces a lot of pressure, rubbing, and flexing, which irritates delicate structures. And I think I have clitoral priapism: the erectile tissues do not drain properly after being aroused. The constant stimulation from the labia ensures that they are always aroused. And that is not nearly as much fun as it might sound like. It hurts.
 
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Linde

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Kathy, I don't know how much changes I will
I experience once the swellings have gone for good. But one should assume that any labia size, be it majora or minora, should be less. I am also amazed by the size of my majora, but I feel no rubbing or similar discomfort when walking. And with my 5'10" , and 90 kg of weight, I am not a little person either.
It might be that the intersex thing left me with a little wider than average pelvic region.
I clearly feel different between my legs. But that is not an uncomfortable feeling.

Hugs
Linde
 

KathyLauren

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The roads were clear, and I was able to get in to the city to see my doctor. She says that, externally, everything appears normal for Dr. Brassard's work. So, whatever the problem is, it is internal. No big surprise, but it is nice to get another data point.

I do have some nerve deficit on the left labium. I had already figured that out, as I noticed that I couldn't feel temperature on the left side. It looks like I don't have the same touch resolution on the left as I do on the right. It is not a big deal, and certainly not worth getting a revision for. Another data point.

She is going to start researching how to refer me for a revision. She has never sent a patient for one before. She will check with both Dr. Brassard's office and with the government insurance.

The good news is that I got my HRT prescription renewed for another year.

In related news, I heard from another of Dr. B.'s patients with similar issues. She has contacted the surgeon's office directly and been told that they will not consider a revision until 24 months after the initial surgery. She has worse pain than I do and is freaking out over having to wait that long. So, she has started inquiries about going to other clinics, including one in Thailand. Yikes!

I don't think I would go to Thailand, but there are a couple of new clinics opening up in Canada. I would have to pay my own way, since our local health care system only sends people to Brassard. There is a rumour that the Toronto clinic already has experience in revising Dr. Brassard's work. I am going to find out what I can about that.
 

OzGirl

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Kathy, it’s unfair you haven’t found a difinitive case to force a revision, but you would have to be nervous about Brassard by now anyway. Let’s hope another clinic works out.

Hugs,

Allie
 

Linde

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I hope that I do not get the problems you have Kathy. My surgeon is one of Brassard's students, and still sends pictures of his surgeries to him!

At what point in time did your problem manifests itself, and where do you have the pain?

Hugs
Linde
 

KathyLauren

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Thanks, Allie.

@Linde, this problem has been there from day 1. At first, it was masked by the normal post-surgical pain. As the surgical wounds healed and the pain subsided, this was left. The feeling is like having a blood-pressure cuff wrapped tightly around the end of my penis and being pumped up to 250 mm pressure. On a good day, it might only be 50 mm.

Although it feels like I still have a penis, the sensation is coming from my clitoris, clitoral hood, and labia minora. I have trouble telling those structures apart by feel, since they were all formed from the glans. I have worked out that most of the pressure sensation results from the labia minora being engorged and pressing inward on the clitoris.

Other related pressure sensations come from the shaft of the clitoris. Because it is created from the shaft of the penis, and because they cannot cut it without destroying it, the shaft is folded over between the skin and the pubic bone. The fold probably impedes the flow of blood out of the shaft, so it gets engorged easily, but drains poorly. As a result, the section between the fold and the clitoris is usually hard. The base of the clitoris, which used to be the base of the penis behind the scrotum, can also get hard. Of course, the clitoris and the labia minora sit on top of this and feel the pressure from it.
 

Linde

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Thank you Kathy, for detailing this for me. I seem to be lucky, and don't have these problems, and sure hope they will not develope.
I don't know how they did it with me, soecifically taking into condideration that my surgeon was one of Brassard's students. But he was also in Thailand for a while, and might have learned there what to do to avoid this?

Hugs
Linde
 

KathyLauren

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Holy crap! Talk about being a squeaky wheel! I got a call this morning from Dr. Brassard's office. I have an appointment on March 10 for a consultation. No doubt he thinks the situation is fairly urgent or I wouldn't have gotten in so quickly.

I was careful to describe my symptoms accurately to my doctor. What I suspect I have is clitoral priapism. But you can't tell a doctor what you think your diagnosis is: they just tune you out. Instead, I described in detail what I had observed that made me think that, plus she palpated the tissues and found confirming symptoms. I assume she passed that info on to Dr. B.. Clitoral priapism can cause necrosis, which is the most common serious complication of vaginoplasty.

It is all speculation on my part, but I was seriously not expecting to hear anything for weeks. I have been scrambling all afternoon to make airline reservations, book a hotel room and taxis to and from the airport. I am guessing that, since this is a doctor-requested consultation, it will be covered by insurance, but I'll deal with that later, and I'll eat the cost if I have to. The priority is to get it all nailed down. All that is left to do is schedule a covid test a few days before I go.

Because of the airline schedule, I'll have to stay two nights in a hotel. Montreal is the hot spot for covid in Canada, so I plan to bring my iPad and some books and stay in my room except for the appointment itself.
 
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