But it was the fact that I had lost touch over the years with myself that when I walked into the counselor's office, it was because I couldn't discern a gender, either male or female. Part of me knew I was male, but something deeper inside made me crave to be female, that I needed to be a woman. In reality, I was part male, not wholly male, and part female, and accident of my birth. It's just the instinctual emotions, those that made me happy ran female.
But I had a problem. Despite everything else, I had a testicle that wouldn't stay put. It went abdominal 3 times the week before my surgery, and when I inject estrogen, a few days later I get cramps on the same side.
So it's with no surprise that when I woke from my surgery, I finally felt whole. It was three and a half weeks later that I was presented with a real look at myself.
Once I got to the hotel, I was told to come to the clinic about 2:30 that afternoon. There they had me fill out forms, draw pictures and read an instruction manual. One of the nurses brought over a wreath of really sweet smelling flowers and a red silk box that held my dilators. She explained the use of each one, and my anxiety began. Drawing a person from head-to-toe triggered an anxiety of being unable to draw a complete person without them looking deformed in some way, and then reading what I was going to have to do for the rest of my life to maintain my vagina almost put me over the edge.
Looking a little like Jackie Chan, he had me disrobe from the waist down to see what he had to work with and then showed me slides of his procedure. It didn't seem to phase him about my undescended testicle until I told him it had made its journey three times this week. At that point, he told me to remind him on the operating table.
At the hospital, I had my blood drawn, my breasts x-rayed, blood pressure taken and an EKG and echocardiogram done by a cardiologist that Dr. Suporn consulted for me. My leaky valve? It's mitral valve prolapse, and promised not to be a problem during surgery.
After I returned to my room, I was visited by the psychiatrist, the anesthesiologist and the cardiologist. I only had a few hours until it I was directed out of my clothes and into the hospital clothes and then given a genital shave with a straight razor and a brutal enema. That was 9 pm.
I drank bottle after bottle of water, until I could pee, and they let me go to the hotel. The following day as I did my dilation, I realized that deep, empty emotional feeling I had experienced 4 years previously was actually the spot in my mind for mapping to the vaginal canal. I was and am completely a woman.
The next 2 1/2 weeks I had checkups daily with the nurses and checkups twice a week with Dr. Suporn. I learned to carry a cushion around every where I went and took anti-inflammation pills with every meal for the swelling. Right before I left, on my last appointment and after my last checkup, Dr. Suporn asked if I would like to see the pictures.
This was the moment of final truth. Either I had been right about having an undiagnosed intersex condition, or I had been having severe illusions. It didn't really matter anymore. I braced myself for the revelation.
There were a few shots of his examination from before he began cutting, and when he said, "They're gone," he was referring to a picture of the gonads laid out with the scrotum cut open, I noticed immediately that there was a difference between the two. Farther in the process, I saw what arrested my eyes. I was much worse than I had thought. While my working side had been simple muscle tissue, the left side looked like a tendon on the inside with creamy white spongy tissue attached to the outside. There wasn't just a single hole. There were at least two. I was a pseudo-hermaphrodite, and I wasn't crazy. I was just undiagnosed. It's really hard to argue with a photograph.
Dr. Suporn worked around the tissue. The vaginal canal is sealed, but if the endometrial tissue is producing menses blood, it is coming from the inner labia housing the clitoris and urethra. I am going to have to be very clear with my primary care physician to make her understand that I am and will always be different.
According to the World Health Organization, I am no longer transsexual; but I will remain intersex.
Hugs and God Bless,