Friday, 25 April 2014

Progress Yet Another Impossible Surgery Required

Today was the day of my appointment with the surgeon at the clinic in Erding. I managed to get up despite barely sleeping at all last night. I headed there with a friend with him driving the car. We arrived at the clinic after about four hours, just in time. There it turned out that for some reason my appointment had been scheduled in on Tuesday the next week. This wasn't a big problem, fortunately, as the surgeon would have time for me after the surgery he was in at that time. This gave me time to fill in the usual permission and information forms and handle the related formalities.

The chat with the surgeon was in many ways brief and to the point. To my relief there was no real physical examination, with the surgeon just taking some photos of the area he would be working on as reference during the preparations. During the discussion afterwards he explained that while he could give no guarantees about the result since he didn't know whether he would find a usable vagina or just related tissue, he was nevertheless ready to give it a go. This did lead to one major issue, however.

To create the labia during the reconstructive he would need more skin than the now empty scrotum can provide. Normally he would use the recycled penile tissue for this (with transgender sex reassignment surgery), but as I had indicated that I wanted to keep that side, this would not be possible. This left me with the options of no surgery, having just a hole without labia or giving up the penis after all. Having decided years ago already that I feel the most happy keeping my body intact without giving into society's concept of 'right' and 'wrong', this third option left me quite upset, as did the thought of the first option.

Not having surgery at this point would be unacceptable to me. Having come this far and to give up on what - thinking about it - essentially is merely decoration around the vagina entrance would be unwise. The surgeon after some discussion agreed to this surgery and then we moved onto the topic of the health insurance: whether the Krankenkasse will actually cover this, as the surgeon explained that they tend to cover surgeries involving someone going from one side to another, not keeping both sides. My surgery might not get covered.

In the end it was agreed that the clinic will send a letter with the request for coverage to the Krankenkasse with a reply expected in about three weeks. A surgery date also got scheduled, for July 14th, so in about 2.5 month. Not very soon, but it will have to do. Wondering about what the surgeon will actually find the surgery and will be able to do with it will likely consume much of my thoughts and energy of the past months. There is also the possibility of the Krankenkasse refusing coverage, requiring me to cover the about 10,000 Euro surgery myself.

Assuming that the surgery goes well and I end up with a connected vagina, I will be essentially at the point where many hermaphrodites start at, with an externally visible and accessible hole to the vagina. The next step will be to somehow create labia, the only method for which I am aware of which will work is that of having the proper type of skin grown from stem cells, something which is decidedly experimental and even then only in places like the USA. The possibility of getting this surgery performed is slim to none. I may have to accept that I will never have labia, as a kind of poignant reminder of my imperfect birth.

In the end today means progress, but also the first of what will undoubtedly be many bitter pills to swallow. I will forever be reminded of my birth defect. Maybe giving up this lunatic dream of being a hermaphrodite is something I should honestly consider. It would make so many things so much easier if I just became a regular woman and had this horrendous part of myself chopped off and recycled for parts. There is no joy or point in being a hermaphrodite. It only means fighting for every single scrap while being terminally unhappy.

I just don't know. Some choices and situations are just too big, too much to be handled by a single human being.


1 comment:

Patrick Horgan said...

Hey, glad you're moving forward and on your side no matter what. I read about the stem cell labia transplants as well, they said that they had full functioning. Since it is experimental, I wonder if you would meet criteria after the surgery. It wouldn't hurt to check.