I have had a hernia for some time. The reason being that I was more concerned about my beloved wife, (who passed 20 Jan last year), than taking the time for the surgery. Also, that, and not worrying about her care, as she had far more medical problems than me. I have been living as a woman 24/7 since her passing, 16 months now, and I have even gone through a mental health interview with the VA when I declared I was a woman.
I am retired from the Army, so I went through my local VA to get a referral to a local medical center, Baptist Health. My hair is now shoulder length. I wear earring, rings, necklaces, and some light makeup. I was required to fill out a profile at this Medical Center, and of course, I was a bit concern, but I didn’t have to worry.
I made sure to check the box, which stated I identified as female. I was happy that during my first visit with the Doctor there was no red flag raised, and all went well. I was Ms. Clevenger to all. After the Doctor left, a nurse came in and says, “Ms. Clevenger, the Doctor is scheduling your operation in two weeks.”
I was concerned about such operations and consulted with a friend who recently had one. After chatting with him, I wasn’t as worried, even so, the last time I had surgery was when I was nine.
On the 30th of March, I arrived at the front door of the medical center; it was Zero Dark Thirty in the morning. My check in time was 5:30 am. I removed my earrings and rings on my ride there and was holding them with my wallet and phone. The head nurse kept calling me Ms. and her, never he or him. The anesthesiologist was also there and never question who I was.
They inserted an IV, and the last I remember was being wheeled out of the prep area for surgery. When I awoke in the recovery room, my good friend (and my ride) was there. The doctor popped in to explain what I could and couldn’t do. A prescription was waiting at where I go to get them.
I wore my slippers and fruit salad PJs (love them) that morning but had also packed a dress; it was a very light green from Flycurve and fresh panties for the ride home. After putting my earrings and rings back on, I got dressed. They carted me out in a wheelchair where my friend was waiting with our ride.
For the first few days, I took the pain pills for the pain, but as it got better, I was only taking the OTC pain meds. They gave me a Velcro wrap, but I quit using it. I started wearing a shape wrap from Shapermint. It was far easier than the huge Velcro wrap the hospital had given me. I wore a dress all this time as it was too hard to get leggings or pants on (less pressure.) Then later, I was back to pants and leggings around the house again.
The VA Doctor called to check on me and addressed me as Michelle. With all the blood work I had done in prep for my operation, as well as the CAT before that, he had a lot of information to share and went down the list with me. It seems they found some stones in the CAT and he wants X-rays. He also wants a colonoscopy. It will be the 2nd one for me and scheduled ASAP.
Thus ended the story, but what stood out the most to me was how everyone addressed me as my female self. In a tough time, there were some positives, and they made it easier for me.