Friday, 30 September 2011

Sentiment or Sentimentallity

I have been on this earth for almost 48 years now, and 'your stone gathers some moss' over that time.  In the summer I took the majority of my male clothes to a car boot sale but I did keep some jeans and the like for gardening, changeing the oil in the cars etc etc.  But other things are hard to part with.  I still have, for example, the cufflinks in the form of pen nibs which I wore for my marriage and the silver and lapis cufflinks my wife bought me shortly thereafter when we had very little money.  I can't see myself ever wearing them again but give them away?  How could I?

And then there is the horrendously expensive 100% cashmere man's overcoat from Gieves and Hawkes I bought a few years ago.  It is still smart, lovely, light and wonderfully warm.  Fortunately my tailor has come to the rescue and is recutting it into a female shape rather than the straight up and down it was before. Hmmm.  Maybe there's an answer to the cufflinks problem in there.  what female jewellery could I make from the cufflinks?

Next problem is the entirely unflashy but utterly, utterly relaible Rolex watch I have worn for the almost 30 years since I was 18.  It and I have done so many court cases and other things together over the years that I miss it dreadfully....  Now it is left behind when I head off to court and I feel sorry for it (me?) in not taking it along.

What is the answer?  I really don't know.  What do you think?


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Hairs and Graces

I realised that I had not said too much about hair for a while, so I thought a comprehensive update might be appreciated. (And allow me to get this 'ichey' but necessary subject over with for a while.)

It is now just a little over a year since I began growing my head hair, and it is about 6 inches (150mm) long.  The combination of high-dose oestrogen, finasteride, topical regain and hair transplants last Christmas have given me a very respectable head of my own hair  (hooray!).  A combination of transplants to fill in the front corners of my previously male-shaped hairline, and lowering of the front hairline as part of my cosmetic surgery marathon in July have given me a very acceptable front look. 

However, there is still a little more to do.  I am still a little sparse at the crown, and if viewed from above and behind with that area combed open, I would notice but perhaps you might not.  Also, the front hairline needs strengthening a little.  The hair transplant clinic 'The Wimpole Clinic' in London warned me, before the first session, that a second round of transplants was likely to be beneficial and Dr May confirmed on Thursday this week that this was so, and the right time for 'round 2' would be just before Christmas coming.  That helps me fit recovery around work.  Last Christmas I had 1750 transplants which took a long day and cost me £3,500.  Fortunately Dr May predicts a much smaller number this year and a correspondingly lower cost.  It will be good to cross a further transition area off the list from pending to 'completed'.

I also plug on with facial electrolysis every Saturday morning for some part of an hour.  I now only have whiskery growth in most places, apart from the area over where my Adam's Apple where a few heavier hairs have come back to life.  That is a shame because the skin is thin in this area and zapping them is pretty painful.

I am also going to have a further half dozen sessions of laser to finish off leg hair and tackle the small patch I have above my waist at the back.  I was fortunate not to have too much body hair to start with.

The laser technician and I have agreed to leave the more 'intimate' area until after reassignment surgery (November 2012) so that we can see what we need to work on.  This, she tells me, will put me in one of her more usual groups of clients.

My arm hair seems to have thinned down from what it was (never too strong) and I put that down to the oestrogen, I think.  That is fortunate because my Italian parentage gives me quite 'moley' arms and laser would not be easy.

Tha's quite enough of hair for now.


Robin Moira White

Monday, 12 September 2011

Brought down to earth

I love my high heels.  Indeed, I am deliberately wearing one of my favourite pairs while writing this piece.  They are a lovely pair of black satin sling-backs with a 4.5 inch heel, peep-toes and a diamante band gathering the materuial from which the shoes are made just above the 'peep'.  I last wore them in anger a little while ago when my leder sister and her husband took me and a friend out to dinner in Poole.  I teamed them with a wonderful black Phase Eight mesh dress with red piping applique embroidery - wonderful.

However, practicallity now begins to bite on the 'everyday'.  I have to walk across town to my station, catch the train to wherever I am litigating, and then wheel me, my case and my papers to the court / hotel.  Alternatively, I have to shlep across town to the supermarket or the High Street.  4.5 inch heels won't do, or wouldn't last.  So over the last week I have been ensuring that my selection of flatter shoes is wide enough to cope with my new 24/7 female life style.  I have some very nice low wedges and a couple of pairs of loafer-style shoes that should do well for court, and I have 3 pairs of black lace-ups that should be fine for my hobby railway signalling.

I do like my heels, however, and they do make a useful statement of who I now am.  Fortunately I have never had difficulty walking in heels and when I was switching to-and-fro between genders they were a useful physical key as to who I was supposed to be on any particular occasion.  I suspect that I will be joining that sisterhood of girls who travel in flatter shoes with more vertiginous shoes to change into when the veue is reached.


Robin Moira White

Friday, 2 September 2011

Facial Surgery - 2 months on

A couple of folks have asked that I set out what stage my recovery from facial surgery has reached, and as Monday will be 9 weeks / two months from surgery, this seems like an appropriate moment.

Given that I had 13 separate procedures, I would say that I am likely, in that sense, to set an upper bound for recovery.  However, I have always tended to heal well when I have injured myself on other occasions

There is no visible swelling left anywhere. 

There is a little redness at the outer corners of the eyes where the thin skin around the eyes is recovering from the eyelifts (upper and lower).  This has been causing me to use a heavier foundation than I would like but I am this weekend going to experiment with a lighter foundation and a little more concealer round the eyes.

I still have some stiffness round the jaw line, but only I notice that.  I also have a little restriction on jaw opening at the extremes.  But then, I don't often eat boiled eggs whole, so it is no real problem.

The only scars visible are at the hair line (only visible if I lift my hair), at the sides of the nose and at the site of the wart I had removed from my right cheek.  All are fading rapidly.

I still have some numbness of the forehead.  The most significant numbness is my lower lip and chin.  I only have feeling in about the first 10mm of the right hand end of my lower lip, the rest is numb but in the past day or two a little tingling is heralding the return of feeling there.  My chin is numb over an area about equivalent in size and shape to an Elizabethan 'goatee' beard.  I have to be careful, as it is perfectly possible to dribble food down my chin during a meal and not know it is there - not a ladylike look!  I have told my friends of this and they have drawn attention to my need to wipe my chin once or twice...thanks.

Given the extent of the surgery I had, I think this is pretty minimal, and I have been very fortunate, although perhaps much of that should be attributed to the care and skill of my surgeon, Dr Bart Van de Ven  (my hero!)

Oh, and a final laugh.  My GP's surgery arranged changing me from 'male' to 'female' on the National Health Service database.  This has prompted a call for me, as a woman of 'a certain age' to attend the local clinic to give a cervical smear to ensure that cervical cancer will not get me.  The devil in me wondered if I should just turn up and see what happenned!


Robin White