Friday, 30 June 2006

Six week update

Friday 29 June 2007

On Wednesday it was six weeks since I had the operation. The time has come for a little assessment.

Pain: 1/10

My period of post-operative suffering is over. In the end it lasted about a fortnight. Then for two or three weeks there were gnawing pains and serious discomfort when I stood up for too long, admittedly a diffuse pain but definitely present if I really overdid it. But still, it happened only once or twice (I quickly learn how to take it easy when the alternative implies suffering). Lastly there was the awful time while my hair was growing back. I so much wanted to scratch myself for about a week.

But now, the war of the physical pain is over. Strangely I have almost forgotten what it was like.


Healing: 8/10

My clitoris is still quite pink.
On the other hand, all the area around has returned to a normal colour. The swelling has gone down in all that area and is no longer sensitive.
Talking of sensitivity, contrary to what I thought, I still don’t feel my “interior” clitoris. It no longer hurts, I can feel it “outside” when I cross my legs, but that’s all for now. I’m being patient, being patient.
I’m continuing with the personal hygiene using dilute iodine. The most often was 4 times a day but more and more often I’ve been forgetting the afternoon session so reducing myself to 3 washes.

Normally this treatment would be modified next week. I have an appointment with Dr Foldès and he said to me that he would prescribe a cream to perfect the healing. I hope there won’t be any more of these intimate ablutions to do because I’ve had enough of them.

The stiches haven’t yet dissolved. They are going to become embedded in my flesh if this continues, I’m sure of it.

The other great annoyance that I’m experiencing, is that I still can’t distinguish my labia minora. It may be it’s because I’m hopeless at female anatomy (but I have done my research) or perhaps there is a problem and they are still too swollen. As a result the skin is stretched, they merge with the labia majora and so I can’t see them. Anyway, that’s the theory I worked out this morning. Verdict next week.

Gait: 9/10

I’ve regained my gait. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s more feminine, seeing that wearing skirts makes me wiggle my bottom. In reality I like it more and more, walking around in a skirt or dress. I am becoming more and more used to the sight of my legs (their prettiness depends on your point of view. From my direction they are just OK, my legs after all). I’ll almost go so far as to say I like my silhouette in a skirt…

Still, if I’ve regained my cruising speed, I still can’t really run. I daren’t go all out and I content myself with trotting carefully. Even in the pouring rain. That’s to say that it’s at that point I’m afraid of hurting myself. One day I’m going to have to launch myself, but for the moment I’m scared stiff.

Morale: 7/10

I have highs and lows. Neither euphoria nor deep depression but my problems with my parents have left their mark. I haven’t spoken to them for 3 weeks and I don’t at all feel I want to. It’s as though I’m indifferent. I need to put some distance between us. But I don’t know for how long or what will happen in the end. From the point of view of my therapy too, I’ve put my parents to one side. I need time to assimilate what happened on the last occasions. At the moment I’m working on the myths which I have built to maintain my self-esteem. I’m at a stage where I no longer need these props and I need to get rid of them. It’s ridiculously hard I’m finding. Because I’m afraid of what will happen when I have to move on without these crutches. It’s like when you remove the little wheels from the back of a child’s cycle…
In retrospect, I realise the invaluable help given by the opportunity to put my feelings into words. With my therapist of course. And also here on this blog. I really believe I would have poisoned myself by not expressing things I have undergone in the past and still now…

Sex: 3/10

I worry more and more about taking up, very soon I hope, my sexual life again. We miss it, my man and I.
But I’m really afraid that the jumbling of bodies will hurt me. Already rubbing against my clitoris makes me freeze in terror. Seeing the effect my poor jeans had on me , I dare not imagine what the skin and movements of my love could cause by way of pain. In fact, for now, I associate all contact with my clitoris with the idea of intense pain.
At the worst, I’m less afraid of penetration because there are positions which allow there not to be any rubbing against my clitoris. But I fear even that a lot.

I believe, besides, I need a green light from Dr Foldès before starting off. I want to be sure that I run no medical risk. I don’t want any complications or I don’t know what else unpleasant which I would be able to avoid by not romping about wildly.

Physical shape: 6/10

I don’t know if it’s linked but I’m exhausted. Frankly worn out. It’s simple, I’m dragging myself about. It’s as if, after a sustained tension, I have relaxed and I’m visibly affected. I’m sleepy all the time and I fall asleep as soon as I lie down. Can’t wait for the holidays ….

Sport 0/10

I am the first to be astonished but I miss my sessions (sporadic I admit) at the swimming pool, or out jogging.
Nevertheless I’m waiting to see Dr Foldès before taking up my activities again. I don’t want to return to the pool and catch something awful which requires me to undergo treatment for yet more weeks.

Smoking: 6/10

I cracked.
Several times.
It’s useless, I know, I know.
I think that before the operation, I was so frightened the smoking could harm my reconstruction (it could hinder the healing) that I watched my step.

Now that I’ve had the operation and I’m not dead on the table, I no longer have the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head.

So on special occasions I’ve smoked one or two cigarettes, stupidly, in the joy of the moment.
Then, I bought a packet all of which I smoked.
It’s not good at all, I know, I know.
I am very contrite. I assure you I would beat myself except that I have this little problem of pain intolerance. I am ashamed. And even more so since the disappointed look thrown to me by my man when he caught me in the act.

I’ve been on patches again for several days, I don’t want to fall into this addiction again.

Especially as I wonder if it doesn’t explain the fact that I am still not completely healed after the expected six weeks.

[Original in French]

Next post


  1. The statement you have produced is largely positive, not least becasue it's good to have succeeded in producing it. That is to say that time has passed and lots has happened, but you haven't stayed in neutral. You are going forward and it's good.

    Once you have had the authorisation of your doctor as to your sexual and sporting life, you will be able to take up normal life in that way too. But it's better to wait for his opinion because you shouldn't start anything that could have serious consequences.

    Anyway I admire how you are constructing and reconstructing yourself. And your courage helps me in the testing time I am having today, which is not difficult compared with what you have succeeded in overcoming. I am trying to take you a little as an example, and that helps me.

    It's strange because I have no idea at all what you look like, but I can imagine. I see you a bit like a big sister maybe.

    Finally, take care of yourself.

  2. That's a post that's a pleasure to read. It's normal that everything isn't rosy, but, what progress you've made!!
    We are used to reading you and elsewhere one of the first comments I left was to compliment you on your writing. And it's today that I realise that you have had difficulty in putting your suffering into words: that doesn't surprise me, but I hadn't really thought about it.

    Finally, it's a very positive end of year report, you should be encouraged and, what am I saying, congratulations from the staff! :-)

    And what have you planned for your holidays? What is your next destination? :-)

  3. We can't go over it point by point, but just a few comments:
    as far as sex is concerned, the fundamental difference between jeans and a man is excitation... For everyone, if there isn't any, there will be no pleasure in the contact. Afterwards its a question of learning.
    Tobacco: not it's not hopeless. The stuff is one of the most addictive drugs there is. So a relapse is only the sign of it's depth and not of your willpower. So, help yourself. The patch will help you and if you have a relapse, start once again and that's enough. Get rid of the bloody guilt! (gospel of the future non-smoker)

    Kisses on their way!

  4. Ah, I forgot! Physical fatigue: anaesthesia, patching up a sensitive area, emotions = exhaustion. Nothing exceptional after six weeks.

  5. Hello Papillon
    I've picked up reading again and this firs post-operative report seems altogether positive. It's progressed peacefully, it must be frustrating but it's a good sign.

    You absolutely need to rest with all the nervous energy you have felt over the last weeks.

    About the smoking, congratulations. Yes, relapses, it's normal. As Anita said, it's terribly addictive. I have got as far as saying to myself I must stop one day. Without being at all convinced.

    Re sex and sensuality, you and your love must be a little patient, you will no doubt need re-familiarise yourself with this part of your body which has changed noticeably, and to be reassured about the medical aspect. In any way, the clitoris is a delicate organ and very sensitive, you learn little by little what is pleasant and what is less so. That can't be done without some practical work, by trial and error, after medical advice of course :)

    PS I loved your post on skirts!

  6. Good, well that's mostly positive.
    Smoking? Well OK, that's not good, but you're not going to start by feeling guilty about it. I've never heard it said that it prevents healing.
    It's better to stop, but everyone has the right to crack, especially when you've just been though all that you have been through.
    So stop all this moral self-flagellation. It does you no good and it's no use ;)
    When exactly is your appointment with Dr Foldès?

  7. Well done for this blog, which must reassure lots of women who want reconstruction like you.
    Wishing you a good recovery!

  8. Hello Nono, I hope your spirits are rising. I don't know if your trouble can be compared to my progress, but I don't really think it's because they are less difficult. Thank you for your comment, it has warmed my heart. Kisses to you too.

    Holidays Elté, that's all I think about. My man and I are going to the seaside, in the Vendée, at the beginning of August. Those few days will be frankly welcome. Actually when I re-read what I have said, I notice I have underestimated the progress I have made. Things make progress all the same. Even if it's not fast enough for my taste, they progress, and that's the essential thing (and the congratulations of the jury, that's always a great pleasure:)

    Your comment is very funny Anita. I'm trying to be less anxious about my sexuality. I surprise myself sometimes by think it's really going to be the best...

    As for tobacco, I blame myself because I was hoping to have finished with this addiction and now I have it all to do again. I am stuck to my patch, relief is coming (at least I hope so).

    Actually Moira, I'm like a machine that has broken down. It's as though I have lost my energy and I don't see any solution for the moment. It's hard for me, as I love lining up challenges and other important tasks, one after the other, but I'm actively looking after myself. Wearing skirts besides :)

    You reassure me Claude, I really thought my smoking could have a bearing on my healing. Because, in addition, I've heard news of a young woman who had the operation after me and for whom the healing has been going much more quickly than mine, I was really scared. Good, so I'll throw away my whip. In the end it's what Dr Foldès says to me. I'll be seeing him tomorrow afternoon.

    Many thanks Annelise!

  9. The Vendée is wonderful! Tell me Nono, I don't understand what you mean by "don’t feel my “interior” clitoris" .. um, I think I'm going to revise all my lessons on sexual education :-)
    And since you are going to the sea, don't forget to have a midnight bathe? Ooooh, you are going to discover such new sensations ;-)

  10. It's a pleasure to read your news and that on the whole things are going well. Your courage astounds me always! As for cigarettes, spare yourself the shame, pff, it's human, think of it as a trial run, a repetition until the moment when it will really be the last cigarette. To have stopped smoking 25 years ago, it is rarely in only once that it's done. There is 1 or sometimes more "stop" before the total and definitive stop .. that's weaning ;o) Well done for everything!

  11. Elté, [feel my “interior” clitoris], I said that? :) I definitely don't remember when!
    Never mind!

  12. But yes Papillon, you wrote it in the post above, in the "healing" paragraph. :-)

  13. Ooops, excuse me Nono, I wrote your name instead of Papillon's! :-):-)
    Next resolution, don't write any more comments when I'm half asleep.

  14. Papillon possibly means that she can feel it (with her fingers) but she can't feel the sensations which it experiences, apart from pain?
    That's how I understood it.

  15. That's exactly it Anna. Elté, my thighs feel it when they are in contact with my clitoris, my hand feels it when I am cleaning or exploring it, but I can't feel my clitoris "on its own". Do you see what I mean?

  16. OK, thanks to you both :-)
    I am in the process of concentrating to see if at this moment I can feel my clitoris, and the answer is ... huh?


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