Friday, 1 February 2013

Fitness on the up

After reassignment surgery in early November I had a pretty tough time up to Christmas.  It wasn't comfortable to sit, to stand, to lie down or to walk.  The best position was laying on my bed with my legs raised.  The sleep deprivation was really getting to me.

I came home after Christmas to an offer to a letter from a couple looking to buy a house in my road and as I had always planned to get the house on the market at Easter I thought 'what the heck!' and called them back.  We set a time for them to visit about a fortnight later.  Fine, I though, plenty of time to get the house ready for a viewing.  And then they rang back to say could they view the very next Saturday! Eeeeeeek! I went into overdrive.  3 days of cleaning, tidying, painting and on and on.  I have to admit that I did 'get a man in' to do some haevyweight garden clearing and brush cutting.  I finished about an hour before they came.  Just time to put a 'chiken with tarragon' casserole in the oven for some nice kitchen smells.......But the place did look great and they went for it - so life really will be moving on in a number of ways in 2013.

But the best bit is that when I sat down after they had gone, I realised that I had not had any pain for a few days - hooray!

It does seem that things have knitted together now.  Last Sunday, for the first time since October I caught the train to Yeovil Junction, the next station along the line, and walked back through the fields and along the lanes.  I usually take about an hour and a half for this but I took it steadily and completed the walk in two hours, once again with no pain.

On Wednesday I passed my 'return-to-duty' medical for the West Somerset Railway, so that aspect of life will be back to normal shortly as well.

I am really looking forward to 2013.

I just wish the last few stubborn facial hairs would give up the ghost.  Ho, hum, patience, patience.

I'll keep you posted

Robin Moira White

Monday, 28 January 2013

The only TS on the jury.

An interesting week last week.

I was called for jury service at the local Crown Court at Dorchester and served on a jury trying quite a serious offence, indecency with a child by a C of E clergyman.  Plainly I have to be very careful not to reveal anything of the jury discussions but we did find him guilty on both counts.

Full marks to the court officials and staff who took my trans status in their stride as did, now I come to think about it, my fellow jurors.

I was very conscious of not being seen to lead the other jurors by virtue of my professional status and didn't tell them that I was a barrister until after we had decided our verdict.  Quite by chance I found myself foreperson of the jury which meant I had to chair the discussion and announce the verdict in court at the end of the trial.

The other concern of the week was whether the jurors would get to court at all.  In the early part of the week the snow interfered with transport, particularly on the high road between Sherborne and Dorchester.  I decided to leave the driving to others and caught the bus in.  On Tuesday evening it was a close run thing about getting home.  The police had closed to road to all but 4x4's but it turned out that included the bus, so we ploughed on steadily and got home a little later than scheduled.

It was a worry to know what to wear.  Elegantly female or snow-competant?  I certainly had no choice but to choose walking boots on two days when the snow was worst.  In the battle between my Jaeger Cashmere and athick  railway pea-jacket it was 4-1 to the cashmere!

And my TV appearance due on Monday evening last?  The snow also affected that!  BBC Inside out decided that they had a topical piece aboyut the Gloucester police coping with the affect of snow on transport..  I'm told that I will be on in a week or two and when I have a new date, I'll let you know.

My other bit of news is that I will be moving house in March, temporarily to Glastonbury and later in the summer to near Taunton, so 2013 is definitely going to be a year of new beginnings.  Perhaps in other ways as well?

I'll keep you posted

Robin Moira White

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Stepping Gently into 2013 - and television!

Hello Readers!

Apologies for the silence over the Christmas period.  I was supposed to be resting up but in fact have been working hard clearing one set of deceased relatives house, settling the affairs of another, and, rather unexpectedly, accepting an offer on my house.

The last was at the end of 36 hours of mad cleaning, painting, tidying, shelf-erecting and gardening to make the place presentable (after a couple of months with another focus....!).  My present place is far too large for me on my own have has to go.  I had intended to put it on the market at Easter but the mountain came to Mohammed and my purchasers sought me out.

Before Christmas pretty much every step was painful and sitting down wasn't much fun either but at the end of the 'rushing around' period set out above, I found that I was walking and sitting comfortably again.  It would seem that matters have knitted together 'down there' in some useful way and so life is a good deal easier.  I wouldn't want to be running about and I am still careful about heavy lifting but it is all a good sign.  It does bring home the value of simple pleasures like sitting quietly or wandering down to the High Street.

I always intended to have matters 'over' before 2013 and absent a little residual electrolysis and laser treatment, I seem to have achieved that.  The bonus is that I also seem to have sold my house, which will allow me to settle affairs with my ex-wife and move to somewhere more sensible.

On, and if you are free next Monday evening, 21 January 2013, there will be a short piece about me on our regional current affairs TV programme 'Inside Out' at 19.30 on BBC 1 West.  Those of you from elsewhere can catch it on BBC i-player.

I am looking forward to a peaceful and pleasant 2013 but I do intend to keep blogging.

Bye for now

Robin Moira White

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Home for Christmas

And so now I am home.

The facial surgery in belgium went well.  I still have some swelling and bruising, as is to be expected, with some particularly fetching yellow hues around the eyes which makes me look like a dometic violence victim once again.

Ghent is lovely and my hosts, Karien and Patrick at 'Ins Inn' apartment were pleasant, helpful and accomodating but I am pleased to be home.  That should be it for serious surgery.  I just now have to plug on with dilation and de-epilation and hopefull a female summer beckons.

I am so pleased to have got to the point.  There were certainlt times when I didn't think I would, or didn't think I had the strength to see it through.  neither am I foolish enough to think that there may not be some tough times ahead but 2013 should be a gentler year, I hope.

Do come along for the ride.

regards and season's greetings

Robin White

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

And so to bed........Er,no, Belgium

Progress is marked by small advances.  I am sleeping a little more easily and yesterday was the day that I managed to wear underwear all day without the fire between my thighs making me head off to somewhere private for some ‘commando’ relief.  Just as well, really, as rather than catching up on my much neede sleep, yesterday I travelled to Belgium for the second part of my autumn surgery, tweaking the facial cosmetic feminisation surgery I had in the summer of 2012.
I am becoming acutely aware of the design of seating and the effect it has on my post-operation sedentary comfort.  Hard (unpadded wood or metal) is excruciating in any form.  As are seats that are significantly higher at the front than the back.  My South West trains seat from Dorset to London Waterloo was so raked and so by the second half of my two-hour journey I was in considerable discomfort, doughnut cushion notwithstanding.  By contrast, the Eurostar seat from St Pancras to Brussels was virtually horizontal and so was fine, as was the SNCB local train to Ghent.
Today I had my pre-surgery consultation with Dr Bart van de Ven, who I have to say I like very much.  When we met up in London last February he reviewed my surgery and expressed himself not satisfied.  So I am here without charge from him (just hospital and anaesthetist costs to pay) for some revisions.  Tomorrow he will be taking another small slice off the bridge of my nose, increasing the upper lip lift a fraction, doing some lipofilling of the vertical lines on my forehead above my nose and tightening the facelift I had to allow for the slackness which has developed since the jaw reduction and re-shaping I had done last time round. After some thought, I am also having my earlobes reduced in size as they are, on reflection, rather masculine.
I am staying in a pleasant apartment in the centre of Ghent within walking distance of Dr B’s clinic.  The hospital is some way outside the city and I have to be there at 7.30am tomorrow, so the taxi is booked to collect me at 7.  Fortunately this time I am only scheduled for 4 hours surgery, not the 12 hours I had before, so I should be awake by the afternoon.  I stay in hospital one night and should be back to the apartment on Friday.
I’ll keep you posted.
Robin Moira White

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Headless Transsexual

I am now at home, gently recovering.  Still rather sore, particularly from the secondary candida infection I suffered from but now able to look back on my trip to Thailand.
It wasn’t quite the trip I expected as I spent all of my month in the out-of-town district of Phuket which contained the hospital, my hotel, the supermarket and the shopping centre.  I had intended to see a little of Thailand on the first weekend but surgery was brought forward so that I booked straight into the hospital on arrival.  The alternative possibility at the end of my time was ruined by my secondary infection.  I have to admit that this, and the pain and sleep deprivation it caused, laid me very low for the trip back and tthe first few days at home.
One of the few impressions I really formed was how much smaller the Thai people are.  The title of this post records that in both the hospital and the hotel if I stood in front of the full length dressing mirror my head was not visible.  I should say that I am only 6 foot tall.  My hospital gowns were XXL size and they had to send out for some larger sandals for me to wear around the hospital.  One of the nurses jokingly called me ‘Miss Universe’.
Is the difference in height genetic or diet based, I wonder?
I also reminded myself how much I dislike air conditioning.  It is not just the noise but the sanitised nature of air-conditioned air.  Of course the alternative, with temperatures in the 30’s and it being at the end of the monsoon season, was to sweat into the bedclothes unpleasantly. Hmm.  I was glad to be home to temperate climes.
As for now, I am concentrating on recovery, thrice-daily dilation, and my trip trip to Belgium next Tuesday to tweak last summer’s facial surgery.
I’ll keep you posted.
Robin Moira White

Monday, 3 December 2012

Home now

I am now safely home.

I have to say that the flight back from Thailand last Thursday was excuciating.  At the time I could sit comfortably for about 20 minutes at a time, so to sit for 12 hours ordeal.  I am grateful for the tolerance of the travellers sat next to me, who must have noticed that I was pretty constantly in motion and to the flight entertainment system  for the films and tetris game which allowed me to focus on something other my soreness.

I am enternally grateful to Dee Palmer who came out of no-where to drive me home from Heathrow.  Fortunately she was able to drop me at salisbury station for me to catch the train back to Sherborne allowing her to get back to Sussex before midnight.

It was rather a shock to the system to return from Thailand's 30-32 degree heat to about minus 3 in Dorset when I got home.  But I soon had the heating on and the blankets over my head.

I am still rather sore and so not sleeping entirely easily, which is a bind, but things do seem to be improving bit by bit.

I'll keep you posted.

Robin Moira White