I remember the end of 1994, after my surgery (My Wisconsin Adventure, Part I and Part II) and my return to Arkansas, and before I started getting politically involved, as a time of depression.  Being back in Arkansas was most of that, so I was applying for any teaching job that I seemed remotely eligible for.  I started several stories but didn't seem to finish many.  So last night, I stuck some of those unfinished pieces in a blender.  Herewith is what resulted.

The reality of my life is that I did have genital surgery, not brain surgery.  There is aftercare.  I debated including Recovery and A Weekend because they involve body parts and sexual function.  But maybe that's what some of you have been waiting for.

I have a more clinical outlook on it myself...


The body considers the newly formed vagina to be little more than a wound, so it tries to heal it.  To counteract this, we have to use a dildo to stretch the interior walls of the new vagina (otherwise, stenosis...hardening of the walls and eventual closure of the vagina...can occur).  I have to dilate about 3‑4 times a day at present, for about 30‑45 minutes per time.  Sometimes it feels good, sometimes it is painful.

Back at Work

I've not been having a good week since last Friday night.  April and I broke up on Sunday.  It was a mutual decision that we both knew was coming, but I still was quite sad about it.  We're still friends, which I guess is the important thing.  But I'm all too aware that this kind of friendship rarely lasts.

I also am quite miffed with the people I work with.  I got mail from the department secretary at the end of last week (sent to all of the faculty in our department) about a biology professor who was in the hospital.  It was a report that he was doing well, for which I was thankful.  But I was more than a little pissed because this same secretary was the person who didn't even want the address of the hospital I was going to be in for my surgery, let alone the phone number of the hospital, thereby denying members of the department a chance to send me cards or call to see how I was doing (not that they actually tried to send me a card, but some of them have said they thought about it).  So I responded to the email (probably shouldn't have, but like I said, I was pissed), telling the members of my department how much I felt it was a slap in the face.

Well, today we had the first departmental meeting since I have been back at work, which turned out to be the first of the year since my chairman is out after having a minor heart problem (which I was asked to give $5 for so flowers could be sent, which also pissed me off).  At the beginning of the meeting new members of the department were introduced and people were brought up to date with what members of the department had been doing over the summer.  You guessed it, my surgery was completely ignored.  Sigh...what a great opportunity to try to soothe my hurt feelings.  I guess they just don't really care about how I feel.

As I was leaving, one of my female colleagues asked me if I was going to the University Women's Club tea tomorrow afternoon.  I told her I didn't even know about it since I hadn't been invited to join the organization even though I had made inquiries about it.  I am not on their mailing list apparently.

Oh well, I couldn't have gone anyway since I have a periodontal visit tomorrow...always fun to have someone dig around in your gums.

The clitoris is formed from a portion of the erectile tissue in the penis (because that is sensitive tissue).  Dr. Schrang makes a very large clitoris because in his experience, some of it is going to die away (necrosis).  The dying tissue is really ugly looking and makes the whole thing look bad for awhile.  Eventually, it melts away and one hopes that healthy tissue is left behind.  I'm still having some residue at the moment, but it is looking better all the time.

If I'm so brave, how come I could hardly sleep last night?  I'm not sure I really want to be a member...it may be rather a dull organization.  But it's the principle of the thing...I should have been invited:  the organization is for women faculty and wives and I'm a "women faculty."

It is still rather large right now, though that may be the result of some residual swelling.  At this point it is not as pleasure‑sensitive as I hope it will become.  It is sensitive to the pain of being rubbed on by my clothes, however.  I still have another (considered cosmetic) surgery to go, to close the upper portion of the vagina, thereby creating the clitoral hood that normally protects the clitoris from this rubbing, and to create the inner labia.

All in all, it was much easier than I feared...the president's wife even said hello and acted like she didn't know who I was.  She hasn't seen me recently, so maybe she didn't.

And I gather in that case she doesn't read the Echo.

I haven't been in the greatest of moods recently, which somewhat explains my absence of posts and disappearance from IRC.  Not everything is going well with my recovery.  I have a urinary fistula (meaning that urine emanates from more than one source when I pee).  I called Schrang yesterday about it and he first said that it was "normal."  When I questioned him further on that, he backed off to "common."  He said that there was no danger of permanent damage from urine coming out at the base of my clitoris and that he could fix it when he did my labioplasty.  This irks me a bit because the labioplasty is a separate operation and costs $2700.  While I had pretty much decided that I was going to have one anyway, he didn't know that.  There was no offer of "come back and I'll fix it for free" such as Menard gave Sarah for her vaginal fistula.

I am told (sure, now!) that urinary fistulas are quite common with Schrang patients, just as I was informed that Meltzer often has a problem with the "web tissue" at the bottom of the vagina.  I think people should know these things.  I didn't beforehand.  If I had, maybe I would have been able to sleep some this past weekend.

A Weekend

Well...I've survived the first half of the weekend...actually, it has been rather eventful.

Thursday morning I was up at school, checking my email, and my friend Miriam dropped by my office.  She's from the Netherlands and didn't have any plans for dinner, so we decided to do dinner together someplace.  Around 3:30pm I went over to pick her up and we drove to Little Rock to look for an open restaurant.  Most of them were closed but we finally saw that Bennigan's was open. It was almost empty except for some men in the bar watching the football game.

Afterwards we drove back to my place where I had half of a pumpkin pie awaiting us, of which we did partake. :)  I also played Harry Nilsson's The Point for her (she was unfamiliar with it, as most people are).

After I took Miriam up to school so she could finish the paper she was writing, I went back home and checked out the message on my answering machine.  It was from Barbara, a former student here (president of the Lesbian and Gay Student Association when I first came out).  I called her up and she said she had some food for me that she had brought from her mother's.  So she dropped by in the early evening.  We ended up sitting around and talking, either at my place or hers until 4am (we didn't * just * talk... let's just say we did some stuff I used to do in my hippie days).

After she left I did my dilating and I guess I was more relaxed than normal because I had my first orgasm post‑surgically while I was actually awake (I have had two that began when I was sleeping). :-) :-)

So...all in all...it was a good day.  I slept from 5am to 9am...awoke for awhile and went to school to clear my email... then went back to bed until 3pm.  Then I got ready for a party this evening in Little Rock.

When I got to the party, I found that there were only two people there not coupled...the other was a woman from my therapy group.  She left very early though...she has to fly to Virginia tomorrow.  So the rest of the evening I was the only single person there...4 lesbian couples, 3 gay couples, and me.

I did get a quick Tarot done though (first time I have ever had one done for myself).  It consisted of just choosing three cards...one for the past, one for the present, and one for the future.  My past card was Reversal...the card of change.  Then I got the Trickster for my present card.  My future card was The Wise One.  Three cards and I didn't get any of the suit cards...I wish I could have had a more complete analysis of what this all is supposed to mean.  A cursory reading of the book that explained the cards explained that the Wise One (or Crone) was a solitary figure...I hope that doesn't mean that I am going to end up alone, though I often almost resign myself to that.

Art Link
I Sing a Song

I sing a song of sadness
Of broken dreams and fear
I sing a song of pain
Of hopelessness and gloom

I sing a song of changes
Of remembrance and rebirth
I sing a song of life
Of exploration and growth

I sing a song of gladness
Of discovery and wonder
I sing a song of joy
Of acceptance and peace

I sing a song

--Robyn Elaine Serven
--October, 1994

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 04:20 PM PDT.

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