Friday, 28 October 2016

This time should be for real

Nearly twelve years ago now, I found myself on a train on my way to Amsterdam, for my first appointment at the gender team at the VUmc hospital there. I still remember how I felt during that trip: as if I was watching my own story as part of a TV documentary, with the usual commentary detailing my thoughts and hopes.

That was the first of a string of crushing disappointments. Over those nearly twelve years there were many occasions that I thought that this time I had finally found help and that it would all be over soon, only to be thwarted again. Along the way there was precious little recognition of the actual truth about my body; it was mostly about outright denial of my intersex condition and the questioning of my mental health.

I guess it did all change last year, when I got referred to my current endocrinologist, through whom I ended up in contact with Germany's transgender (and kinda also somewhat intersex) medical network. As a result I got a proper examination of my hormone levels, learned that I was overdosing on female hormones, learned that I am in fact in possession of ovaries, got a proper psychotherapist to assist me, and am now brought into contact with a surgeon who should be able to handle the reconstructive surgery.

During yesterday's appointment with my psychotherapist I learned that at least one surgeon had expressed interest in my case. Contact will be established with this surgeon in order to get my medical info including the most MRI scan to the hospital so that it can be studied, with the goal to have a consultation with the surgeon to discuss the prospect of surgery.

It will be still a tense and exciting moment to hear from this surgeon what his thoughts are on this reconstructive surgery. Whether he thinks it's possible at all, and if it is, which compromises I'd have to decide upon. I'm not expecting it to be a super-easy kind of surgery without any compromises, but at least I feel I have a good idea of which parts I would least loathe to compromise on.

Hardest to deal with would be if surgery turned out to be impossible, both from an emotional and medical point of view, considering that I still need to have the source of the extreme pains during my period examined. Without surgery everything would be harder and more difficult. For now I don't think that it's useful to think about this possibility too much.

Maybe this time everything will work out. The situation and level of support I currently have really couldn't be better, so I am hopeful that there won't be any weird or uncomfortable surprises. This time I should just get the straight answers about what my body is, what I was born with and in how far it can be shaped to its hermaphrodite self without having to resort to anything artificial.

I think that it would indeed be awesomely exciting if the surgery is possible without too many compromises. In so many ways it would be like coming home in my own body. Both to finally have that hermaphroditic body of mine restored to its full, natural state, as well as to have a somewhat easy and straight-forward way of dealing with the chronic period pains.

I dare not dream of such a moment yet, but the thought of this possibility is more than tantalizing.


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