In Which I Am Cut On…Twice.
I left off with my girlfriend and I flopping down on our beds at 4-ish AM. In hackneyed literature, many times with the dawn of a new day, everything can change. The sun enters the Eastern sky and suddenly it’s a new day. Suddenly, everything seems possible. I despise cliché and try to use it with a healthy helping of high fibrous irony to move that much stereotypical claptrap.
In spite of my relentless fight against hacks and the expected, I am happy to report that with the dawn of the new day, suddenly all seemed possible again. We were awakened at the ungodly hour of 10 AM with the welcomed news that Lexi’s bag had been recovered and it would arrive at the hotel within the hour. We were instantly connected to each other again and we happily collapsed again together and giggled as lovers are wont to do.
To make a good day even better, I went to see the doctor at his clinic. On the drive over, I received a very quick Bangkok lesson in driving and native roads. First of all, there is next to no stoplights in many sections of the city. As an American, I was instantly amazed at how chaotic, yet accident free the streets actually were. Also, as the driver took a quick right turn, my thoughts jumped to wondering why he was heading down an alley. I swiftly realized that this wasn’t an alley, it was a street, an incredibly narrow street. The street was so narrow, my eyes refused to believe that our car and an oncoming SUV would bew able to share the road instead of doing some sort of modern day car jousting. We were in an Audi, there was no doubt in m,y mind that we would lose that joust. Like a magic trick, my eyes had betrayed me and we slid by the oncoming Ford Explorer with at least four or five inches to spare.
I was amazed when I saw the doctor’s clinic front. My first thought was, “No, really. Where is the doc’s REAL clinic. When I tell you that the front of the clinic could easily be the awning of a Gyro shop, I’m in no way kidding. Yet the outer trappings, the “book’s cover” as it were, was in no way indicative of the truth of the clinic’s interior. I was greeted by the smiling office manager of the clinic, “Som”, the woman I had corresponded with for over four months. I instantly found myself with perma-grin, I was so happy to finally meet her. The entry way and office of the facility were truly top notch. The place looked sparkly new and the staff was dressed in matching scrubs and they were all smiles and the whys were coming very fast until it seemed as if I had been bowing for an hour. They all seemed gentle, happy and personable despite any language barriers that might have existed. I was well expected and everyone greeted me as if I was an honored guest, which, in a way, I suppose I was.
Some sat me down and explained to me that I had slightly overpaid and handed me an envelope that contained some 8,000 Baht, or about $325. My, wasn’t that a nice surprise! That, unfortunately enough was the end of the good news. I was led toward a small room where I was directed to deposit my clothes in favor of a hospital gown and slippers.
Finally, I met Dr. Chettawut. I started transition in late 2004, in fact, I went fulltime on Christmas day, 2004. From the very beginning, I had heard his name bandied about as one of the best two or three SRS surgeons in the entire country. The phrase “world class” came up quite a bit, yet I really didn’t know what to expect. Thai people often seem much younger than they really are, so he might have been anywhere from about forty to his mid-fifties. To this moment, I still don’t know how old he was. I took off the robe, letting him inspect my body.
“You have lost a lot of weight.” He said, as though he were personally proud of me.
I took in a deep breath, “Yes,” I said, trying not to make eye contact for a moment. “About 220 pounds.”
His brow furrowed with kindness and he grasped my hand. His hands were soft, yet firm. He made very strong eye contact with me, then he stepped forward toward me and he hugged me. “You’ve done a wonderful job.” It was such a warm action and was so unexpected that I had to hold back the tears. “Yet, because of all the loose skin, your breast with not be as high as I’d like. You may want to get a breast lift in a few years.” I nodded, knowingly. I had been ready for that one. “It would also help you to get a tummy tuck.” Again, I bobbed my head up and down. Of course, I’d love to have something like a tummy tuck. We talked about implant size. I wanted to keep the size manageable. Despite my size, I didn’t want to have more back issues because I wanted porn star boobies. After going back and forth, we decided on 650 cc implants. They would give me a bra size of a small to regular 38D. That seemed to satisfy him and I was convinced it was the right way to go. As a finisher, he held his hands out like we had bartered for a souvenir, “So, we are agreed then.” I smiled and nodded happily in approval.
Then came what I had feared, he cast his gaze down to my quite limited donor material, South of my equator. “Your penile skin is quite…” He began, haltingly.
“Small.” I offered. Looking down at my slippers.
He continued as though he had made the observation. “Yes, small. But that’s not an issue with my method. With my method, we also use the scrotal tissue as well. But you…”
I continued to look at my slippers. They were woven and very comfortable, in spite of being about four sizes too small for my women’s size 15 boat feet. Of course I had been following each word of the conversation, I simply wished to leave my body at this point, “I don’t have much scrotal tissue either.” I finished for him.
He reassuringly squeezed my hand again. “Yes, not much. But you shouldn’t worry about that. In cases like yours, I can use a skin graft to get maximum possible depth of the vagina. So let me ask you, how much depth were you wanting?”
With his reassurances, I returned to his eye contact and tilted my head slightly, “Well, obviously, I’d like the maximum depth possible. I was hoping for…” What should I say? I wanted to be realistic, but I wanted functionality, too. I had gone this long without one and dammit, I wanted to use it well. “Umm, maybe around seven inches?”
I thought he was going to laugh for a moment. “Seriously. We have plenty of material to work with including the skin graft but ultimately the depth depends on your anatomy. If your anatomy allows it you will be able to have much better depth. We hope to have at least five inches of depth. Any less than four inches of depth would almost be what we would call cosmetic.”
Cosmetic? My head was swimming. Was there a reason he had emphasized this? Did I have a chance of having four inches? I tried thinking of this possibility but it just made me more and more upset and so I decided that what ever happened would happen and my first priority was to rid myself of this tumor between my legs. I had no control over what would happen next and so I resolved to let it go.
The next three days were for bowel cleansing. I’ll spare you a majority of the details, save the fact that I had so much soup, I really don’t have any desire to see a bowl of soup at any time in the near future. Mushrooms soup, tomato soup, broth, miso, keep that stuff away from me!!
Finally, it was THE day. The clinic sent a driver for me at about 8 AM. I was looking cute in my purple skirt with a purple undershirt and a gray button down. I was shaking all over and once again I had perma-grin tattooed across my face. After the fifteen minute drive, I was back in the clinic. The next two hours were once again a blur, and suddenly I was in my hospital gown, laying on a gurney and being wheeled into surgery. I met the anesthesiologist, a very handsome, smiling young doctor, who fixed me up with an IV in the back of my hand. As is usual with this night night medicine, it was impossible to pin down the moment I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember was the nurse shaking my arm and telling me to wake up, as the background filled with the pinging noises of the hospital machines and the strange feeling of the small inner tubes around my legs inflating and deflating, protecting me from deep vein thrombosis.
I looked as far down as I could, noticing the urine flowing freely into the catheter tube and the blood drains, sucking fluid from my armpits, flowing from my new breasts and the IV in the back of my hand, now feeding me saline solution.
I didn’t see the doctor for about four hours and to tell the truth, I slept for most of that time anyway. Finally, he appeared, smiling and still in scrubs. Giddy, I giggled the entire time he was there. The nurse who accompanied him was jabbering so fast, I couldn’t see how a native speaker of the language would even understand her. He worked on my breasts like he was making pizza dough. Finally, the reason for the meeting became apparent. I noticed, as he explained to me that my right breast implant was at least two inches higher than the left.
“Miss Zoey, I’m going to have to recommend that we go back in and reposition the right implant. As you can see it is much higher than the left. Then when you wake up…” He took a long and troubling pause, “Then we can talk about your SRS when you wake up.”
I was too blitzed on morphine to care about anything too serious right then. “Hey!! You’re the doc, doc. Whatever you want to do, let’s have them line up and stuff. I guess that would be a good idea.” I giggled and my gaze fell on the nurse. She had slight features and beautiful almond shaped eyes. Her hair perfectly framed her angled face. “You are so purty.” I winked at her. She fought a a slight chuckle and shook her head.
For the second time that day, I was being wheeled back into the surgical room. I noticed the same smiling handsome knock-out doc waiting for me. I tittered and asked him as seriously as I could, “You aren’t going to put it back on now, are you?” He laughed, a big belly laugh and once again, the darkness moved in around me. No matter what happened after this, I was complete. I was congruent. I had a hole where once had been a pole and if they wanted to play with my new boobies before me, they had my permission. Before I went under, I giggled once more and said, “If you get to the summit, be sure to plant a Thai flag.” Then the door from the waking world closed behind me and I was again floating in warm, inky blackness.