This discussion is not put here to preach to the converted rather to offer one womans insight from her experiences, to those reaching their own decisions in this journey.
There is one salient point that always seems to get lost in the wash when we discuss transition, and that is true congruency.
I am not here to knock those who believe they have found that level without SRS, good luck to them.
Short background story, I began HRT July 2007, Orchie March 2008 Voice, nose, trachea and upper lip, July 2009, hair grafts, October 2009 and SRS March 2010.
That’s a lot of surgery in a short length of time , believe me, my 60 year old body is feeling it. Yet, I have not a single regret.
For each stage of surgery, I felt closer to that elusive congruency.
It is not a race, sure, but my time clock is ticking and when the opportunity presented itself, I was not going to waste a second and I haven’t.
I never felt true congruency until I had SRS, there was always a little niggle in the back of my head that said, sorry girl, you’re not quite there yet.
Now that my swelling has gone down, I can totally feel the physical difference in my body.
It feels like a woman’s. There is no longer that dangly thing there, pronouncing to all and sundry,
” I am male.” Shudder.
I felt like I should have a sign hanging off me, telling the world.
Nonsense, I know, but we also know, the mind does stupid game playing with us, don’t we.
Now, I not only feel different, with little sensations down there, that are a mystery as yet, but I smell different.
That may be a combination of KY , Betadine , antiseptic powder, dettol, soap, shampoo, conditioner and underarm roll-on, but I smell like a woman, rather pleasant the girls tell me of myself. Yum.
It’s all part of my congruence.
I wrote on my profile wall, “ I am no longer two of a kind, I am now one of a kind.”
It is an apt description of what SRS can do for you, as it has done for me.
I wish you luck on your journey, mine has been a beautiful experience and my inner peace is so very enlightening. No longer do I
have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can live with all its little
idiosyncrasies, take them or leave them.
Life is truly beautiful.
The information I was given, is that what you have in penile length, will be the depth of your vagina.
That is true in my case.
Many members have reported here that their US Doctors maintain that shrinkage will occur if you have an Orchie ahead of GRS but I never found that to be the case.
There is enough scrotal skin to create more than enough of a labia, usually with a fair bit to spare
When my 'penny dropped' and I began hormones, I couldn't have an Orchie quick enough, 6 months after I started in fact and my mental balance really began from those times.
Dr Saran does do colon extension of your vagina, for extra cost but my theory is, unless you have met a man who is built like a horse, why would you need 9" of depth.
If your penis is of normal length, it will logically, as a vagina, have a depth that is normal for other men's length then, won't it
There does seem to be a higher chance of complications arising from colon extension as well.
Many girls here have reported going back to their surgeon for corrective surgery.
Nothing chronic, but it does entail more surgery and there does seem to be considerably more likelihood of complications.
But that is what many girls want, so good for them.
Dr Saran keeps his surgery simple and as I follow the K.I.S.S principle in life, simple works for me.
I have been 100% happy with Dr Saran's work, if I had one complaint, it would be that it can often be difficult when you are home in the months before going there to communicate with Ying.
Most often that is a time factor.
The best time to contact Ying is early evening, her time.
Dr Saran does surgery between 2 hospitals during the day and is at his clinic in the evening.
( Many might not be aware that his surgery at the Piyavate International Hospital costs $US8000, at the other Hospital( who's name escapes me) he only charges $6000, this being a more basic Hospital that is mostly for local's, so language is a bigger barrier but I am told by an Aussie girl, that the service is impeccable and the Hospital is of the highest cleanliness, although older and not in as good a condition, paint-wise and so-on.
It might be compared to a 5 star Hotel and a 3 star Hotel.
In Bangkok they are both immaculate but there are more things available to Westerners in the 5 star.
Piyavate( pronounced Pee-ya-vay) is like that.
But even there, communicating with staff is often a trial.
There is Hotel Accommodation on the upper floors of the Hospital but I found them not up to the standard of the Hospital.
For $US 40 a night you can get a quality room at a Hotel near the Hospital or pay $75 a night for a 1 bedroom apartment.
Are you taking a companion/carer?
I highly recommend it for 2 main reasons.
They are there for you all the time and they will take the stress away with staff, taxis and all the little things of being in an overseas country with few there who speak English.
Your friend won't either but she won't feel the stress that you might in dealing with locals.
I had a service available with local girls there but it is no longer there, unfortunately.
Having Ying's phone number is essential, ( I can provide it if she hasn't) as is a local sim card for your phone.
She will schedule all of his appointments for the evening.
Bangkok is a nightmare for traffic, so allow an hour for travelling, always!
Carry little cards around with you and get your Hotel Desk Staff to write in Thai, the address of where you are going and the Hotel address on other ones.
Some are only authorised and licenced to travel in their local district so when you hail a cab, two things, if he doesn't know the address, don't get in, if he is shaking his head, it means you are going out of his district, don't get in.
They won't be in the least offended, so just walk back, or hail, the next cab and go through the same routine.
Taxi's are as cheap as and the most sensible way to get around Bangkok.
Ying is brilliant but I fault her for taking too much on her shoulders.
I wish she would train up some of her staff to take on a lot of her Overseas Patient responsibilities plus learn more English, leaving her as a coordinator but being she is so dedicated she makes herself available for you day and night, so we really can't complain.
Returning emails is her one weak point.
Thai's work on a different idea of time than we do.
To them, time is immaterial. Your surgery is months away to them so they have plenty of time to get around to answering you.
To us, time is of the essence and yesterday wasn't soon enough.
Having said that she is a darling, you will love her.
Dr Saran has good English comprehension so explaining yourself to him is very easy.
When I was in Bangkok and got the brush-off from my Doctor, an Aussie friend who was there at the time, convinced me to have a consultation with Dr Saran and at that time his Clinic was in the process of being renovated and it looked somewhat seedy.
But Dr Saran was anything but, he sat down with me and showed me different models of what my outer vagina could look like and let me make my own choice.
He explained and answered any and all questions I asked and when I left after a lengthy, unscheduled appointment, I was totally comfortable with choosing him as my surgeon.
I don't know why, but he only provides a No 1 dilator, so you can either buy the set over there, on-line or from home.
Most other surgeons provide the set.
I will give you one bit of really serious advice.
Following surgery, the only thing you will want to do is get up and walk about, exercise and generally be active.
In fact the least exercise you do for the next 3 weeks, the better your body will respond to accepting the dilators and allow the muscles to relax when something is inserted there.
Muscles need retraining and what I feel I did by exercising so much, was to cause the muscles to tighten around the vagina, as they were before surgery.
I didn't retrain them properly.
Men aren't my thing, so I am not the least concerned about it, but I should serve as a warning to others about this.
I returned to Dr Saran a year later and asked what could be done but these are major muscles and he can't adjust them or anything so if I want width, I need to dilate more but I don't bother.
Having a vagina was my aim, not using it.
To some that will seem purposeless but that's who I am.
It's never been about sex for me.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
Come December please keep me informed how you are progressing.
I would love to know.
And give my regards to Saran and Ying, they are two of life's beautiful people..