27 February, 2011


As in, "The hells with these Always, I'm finally done!"

Been some good news on the recovery front in the past couple of days. For the purposes of this blog and its usefulness to readers who are interested in the journey of vaginoplasty, this is one of very few times I will talk about my sex life.

On Monday after work, I went to a mutual friend's house where Elizabeth and I would stay for a couple of days while dealing with the bedbug issue at my apartment. During that morning, we had anal sex, the first time I had "received" since my operation. I was very pleased that I had not injured myself, though both of us were still being very careful not to aggravate anything. I was also, of course, very happy to see my sweet fiancée satisfied, but I think that goes without saying. I did not climax, however, but I was not concerned with that.

Later on that week, on Wednesday morning, I was at the end of my dilating when I had become aroused. Elizabeth was nearby, as well. I think that probably had something to do with it; my thoughts tend to wander in such areas when she's around. I masturbated, this time to climax, for the first time. This marked 7 weeks and 1 day since my operation that I was capable of that feat. I am aware that not all post surgical trans females are capable of orgasm, which is why I wanted to mention it for clinical reasons.

In the past 24 hours, also, I have had no blood drainage. This was a very long sought milestone in my recovery, as well. Maxi pads are fucking uncomfortable after a very short while! Tonight, at work, as I sit here, I have gone without. So far, I have had some other fluid drainage, but not blood. This other fluid, it has a name that escapes me, but it is often secreted  by the body for healing purposes. I've been seeing it since day one of the operation, but it is easier to see by itself without the stain of blood.

Finally, I got a call from Dr. Deutsch only a couple of hours ago. She said she had been in contact with Dr. Pichet over the past week, and they have agreed that while I may have had a premature stitch rupture, it is very mild and will heal on its own without further surgery. Best news I've had so far! I was very worried on that; had it been just cosmetic, well, it would be no big deal, but if it affected my functionality or became a constant issue of infection, etc, and absolutely required surgery I would be in deep trouble. I won't be able to afford a flight back to the Doctor for that touch up, and chances of finding a local doctor to do it are slim to none, if I could even afford to pay for that. She did tell me that it may be a little while longer, a couple of months or so, before I am completely healed in that area. Not a big deal right now.

Overall, recovery is getting much better. I just needed some patience. In my all-too-typical Taurus fashion, however, it was not an easy wait. But I'll get there.

21 February, 2011

Progress, Incrementally

Entering my 7th week post recovery. Seems like it's been a long road, but that's probably just my impatience. I guess I kept thinking I would be further along by now. At the least, though, I think the past few days have brought some good progress.

Today, I stepped up to my last dilator. It's a 28mm diameter. It was actually pretty intimidating; something about it seemed so much bigger than the past couple of sizes. Still hoping I can work the length up to match the previous sizes; I taper off by almost a full inch and a half right now. I also haven't had any blood with my dilations in several days, which is quite comforting.

Speaking of such, my drainage is now almost nonexistent. It's still enough that I feel better wearing a pad, but it's so light I'm tempted to try going a day without just to see. I'm hoping that I only have a week or so left of that. Seriously, ladies, you try bleeding for 2 months and you'd look forward to the end, too!  I know I probably shouldn't complain, since I won't have a monthly cycle, but still, 2 months is a long time.

Final note: While I still haven't heard anything back from Dr. Deutsch, that's likely due to the weekend and the time difference. I expect to hear back sometime today. Even if I don't, however, I've realized one thing. I may not look perfect right now, but I am quite happy with what I have now. Besides, too close to perfection and things are often more likely to "look" fake. And while I'm aware that I will always have some differences that give me away as altered, and other physical signs that show that I'm trans, I'm not afraid of those. I'm happy. And that's the point all along, isn't it?

20 February, 2011

Studio 02-19-11

(Cross-posted from "We Are God's Weapon" blog)

The God's Weapon team hit up The LaBoratory studio in Beverly Hills to lay down their long awaited final track, "Darkest Before the Dawn." This song has been very exciting since the very first riff was introduced months ago by guitarist Beaux Bruggman. It's taken on a life of its own, hopefully in a fashion that continues throughout our band's career. This is just the beginning of what is assuredly going to be a hard hitting, beautiful project.

Lorne started off the day by getting the drums tracked. This is often the crucial but very necessary first part of getting any studio recording done. Producer Bora Karaca's many years of recording experience comes into play throughout the process of setting up, mic'ing everything, and checking input levels before recording a single note or beat.

Since we already had scratch tracks done, and both Adam and Denise were ready to sing, they went next.

Rhythm guitars and bass came next with Traf, Beaux, and myself, and were finished swiftly. As of this writing, I had to leave to head to work before the violins were finished, but according to self-proclaimed "band groupie" and public relations, Elizabeth Mills, they were finished swiftly and are sounding "bad ass!" God's Weapon is entering a new era, especially with these latest two songs, and I believe that we can only get better from here. It's taken far too long to get this album in your hands, and we are finally going to deliver. But we have a lot more where that comes from. Stay tuned!

~Sera Wohldmann, bassist

19 February, 2011

Mixed News

Yesterday I had my appointment with Dr. Deutsch at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood. It was a pretty lengthy stay there, for several reasons. And the results were a mixed bag.

Regarding the actual checkup, it appeared that any infection I may have had is gone. The ointment treatments seem to have worked, and to be safe, she recommended keeping them up for a little while longer. However, she did have one thing to say regarding the blood drainage I'm still having from my labia. She said she was not entirely sure, but that it appeared that I may have broken a stitch early after all, and that some of the draining is from that exposed area. She wants to double check with the surgeon, and took a picture to send in for additional information. She believes that may be why my clitoris seems undefined still at this time. Elizabeth had been thinking this as well, but didn't want to alarm me. Dr. Deutsch said that a corrective surgery may be necessary. I hope not, I still haven't paid off the last one, and it may be awhile before I do.

At the end, she noted that I still had some labs to do that I forgot to do last time. Well, since I was unsure of where to go and nobody told me last time, I had just gone home. Whoops, apparently. So, I went to the lobby to wait. And wait I did. Somewhere along the way, they lost my labs paperwork for about a half hour or so, but I finally got it. While waiting, Elizabeth got some paperwork started to try and get into Dr. Deutsch's care as well. They initially charged me a separate $11 for my labs. When I got my receipt, I had "male" in bold print sticking out of the top of the form. I got kinda pissed at that, so I brought it up to the receptionist while I was further waiting for the lab to actually call me inside.

I had some blood drawn and went back to the lobby. Apparently while there, I had been called back up. Turns out that they made a mistake, as my labs were covered by my insurance plan. They also wanted me to wait and talk to the supervisor regarding the gender label at the top of the form. After getting my refund, Elizabeth and I went into the supervisor's office.

Lisa is a very kind soul, though this would be the first time I had spoken much to her. She explained that, upon reviewing my forms, the lady who had done my financial screening forms had missed some parts altogether and fudged one, leaving me with a "male" marker. This was a major no-no, and it was fixed. Also, Lisa showed us a change they had made to their system.

Several months ago, shortly after Elizabeth and I first met, we went to the center to get HIV/STI testing at the Center. While I had no issues, they had blatantly fucked up her name, using her male name even though they knew her preferred name, and loudly, too. Shocking treatment for an LGBT services center, and leaving a sour taste in both our mouths. When I went to Dr. Deutsch the first time, I let her know exactly what had transpired that day.

Fast forward back to Thursday. The change that Lisa showed us was directly because of my report. She programmed a popup throughout the system that shows the preferred pronoun and name of any patient as necessary. We felt a lot better that we saw the action taken. While there, Lisa also went ahead and did Elizabeth's financial screening instead of waiting for Friday, since we had been pretty inconvenienced already by the error on my part. Even though mistakes were being made, I felt a lot better knowing that at least they were being handled. I reminded myself that the gender services were actually a rather new part of the Center's facilities, and that hiccups can be expected. With that in mind, the actions taken eased my mind somewhat. Knowing also that Elizabeth's name change was only 3 weeks away, something we are both very excited for, Lisa went ahead and updated the profile in their system with the new information anyway, saving us one step in the grand process of things. That was very nice of her.

Finally, we went downstairs for a prescription refill. Since I had never been to the center's pharmacy, it took another minute to process. When it was all done, I wasn't charged for my month of progesterone! I felt pretty good about that. Cash is very tight still, and every little bit helps. Things will get better, soon, I know. Patience, however, is not one of this Taurus' stronger attributes, however.

15 February, 2011

Roller Coaster Says What?

The past few days have already been a lot of craziness, and I don't see that course changing any time soon. Here's the latest.

For starters, the roommate issue has calmed down, somewhat. I don't think she's planning on burning any bridges, but the reality is, Elizabeth and I still need a new place. The plan for the next day is to check out a handful of places that she has compiled to look at. She's really good at that, too. Hoping for the best on that.

As for recovery. I'm looking much better. Seems like the treatments have done a lot of good, which I've been grateful for. Occasionally I still have a dilation that has some blood on it, but most of that has been much more minor than it appears. I don't know what I would have done without my baby's help. I feel so lucky to have her here! I'm still seeing Dr. Deutsch for a checkup on Thursday. Even if I have cleared everything up, it couldn't hurt, and I'm going to need a prescription refill.

Also on Thursday, another God's Weapon rehearsal. Had another last night, but I had to go straight to work halfway through, so I missed out a little. Luckily that won't be an issue on Thursday, and Saturday we record the last song on the album. I can't wait to say I have an album to my name! It's going to melt a few faces! And it'll be a great thing to have a disc to sell at future shows. Plus I need the recording experience.

In addition, I have a practice jam with another band in the area tonight. I felt a strong artistic connection on the phone, let's hope that translates on the instrument. I was supposed to have another last night before work, but for some reason, I never got the address. Oh well. Could just be a mistake.

Finally (whew, right?) we got some very good financial news, as well. A response from my job regarding Elizabeth's application - she WILL be brought in, she just has to wait for her number to come up, as there's an applicant list in front of her, and limited classroom size. I was thinking that may be the case, so it's great to hear for sure! I'll keep you posted! This job has been wonderful to me, and I know it will be great for her, too.

11 February, 2011


Oh, boy, has this been a fun 24 hours.

For the past couple of weeks, now, Elizabeth and I have felt the lack of privacy catch up with us. My Hollywood apartment is a studio, shared with another roommate. At first it didn't seem that bad. We'd both be home for awhile, but our school/work schedules were such that we didn't get too pissed at each other. Plus, she had a boyfriend down the hall she could crash with whenever.

Lately, their relationship has stepped back a little bit. She's home a lot more often, and that's not a bad thing, I don't think. However, she expressed a little concern with how frequently I was naked, lately. I can't help it; my readers are well aware that I've had some difficulties in recovery lately, and that means being naked for awhile for necessary maintenance. She also tended to come home, often drunk or high, at very random times, making any possible opportunity for private moments fleeting. But I could deal with that.

I began to realize that with the changeover in management a few months ago that certain policies were also changing, in ways that I did not agree with. I realized I had an "out," if I wanted it. But I am a respectful roommate above all else. Also, my roommie is graduating in 4 weeks. So, I asked her what her plans were. Nothing wrong with that.

Well, apparently it was wrong. She had no plans, and since her job was via the school, she would be losing that, soon, as well. That puts me in a bit of jeopardy, does it not? I depend on her half of the rent; I cannot carry it myself, and neither can Elizabeth. So, we came clean. We had wanted out, but were going to wait a few months so that no one would be screwed. She'd be able to take one of a couple of options:

1) We dissolve the lease and all go separate ways. Good for us, not so much for her, as she has no vehicle and can't get as far. Also with losing her job she would find it difficult. Also having home issues I am not privy to, and can't move back at the moment.
2) We vacate, allowing her to sublet the remaining space. Everybody pretty much wins as long as management, who seem rather absent, don't figure it out. They still haven't caught on to Elizabeth, so I'm not worried about that.
3) She vacates, and Elizabeth takes over her half. That's harder, as the roommie still has the issues in 1, plus Elizabeth has not yet started her job. If this options comes into play too soon, we will go into the red quick.

I explained all of this, and reemphasized that it was still months away. I got no reaction from her at the time, but by the time we had woken up for the day, we realized that the roommate was getting home from class. She had her back to us, silent. She was packing things into a trash bag (my trash bags, I might add; most of the supplies I had to buy, and Elizabeth often cleaned up her kitchen messes because she wouldn't). She then took off in silence.

She answered a single text that night, explaining how upset she was lately that she was "getting screwed again for the third time in a year." Well, sweetheart, we're not screwing you unless you want to see it that way, nor have we screwed you before. I guess some people have to make a villain out of something just to cover their own tracks and shortcomings.

So, my love and I are about to check out new dwellings. The roommie never came home last night, not even until just a few minutes ago. And that was a 30 second stop to grab a laundry bag and detergent. It's not looking good. Option 3 may be in our laps without anyone having a choice in the matter. I find it best to stay proactive in this case; have a plan.

10 February, 2011

Getting Better

Well, I can't say that today has been the most fun, but it was at least somewhat productive.

I got called into work for an extra day. Which, hells, I need the money pretty badly, as I'd established.  Elizabeth gave me her last 4 dollars in cash so I could buy more pads on the way home. Otherwise, though, the shift was far more typical, unlike the previous days.

When I got home, I settled into my bedtime routine around 08:30 am. We washed our makeup off and I lay down on the bed to dilate. I pulled the first one out, and it was covered in blood. I freaked. At the beginning of my dilating routine, I would see old, brown blood mixed in with lube, but that hadn't been for at least a week. This was fresh blood.

I was shaking pretty badly. Elizabeth had to take a close look and tried to figure out what was up. She dabbed it up for me. My normal draining was almost all around my labia minora, mostly where the old skin was shedding, there would be some light blood dripping. Elizabeth noticed, however, that due to the dryness and irritation from the infection, there was another spot just outside the vaginal opening that had "cracked," much like a chapped lip will bleed if untreated. The entry of the dilator and possibly my laying position had pulled that blood into the canal, making it look a lot worse than it had been.

At the time, though, we were both speculating. Well, okay, she was speculating, I was crying and shaking. She then applied the ointment for me and we went to bed, a little later than normal. I didn't finish my dilating that time.

The sleep was interrupted a couple times by possible upcoming gigs for me. Which means finally some good news, hopefully, regarding my playing career.

That evening, just a couple of hours ago, I would wake for good. It was one of my douche nights anyways, which helped narrow down some of the theories from that morning. Just minutes ago, I finished the dilating that I meant to do before, and it was much better. Some of the same bleeding going on, but at least now we know for sure.

Next Thursday can't come fast enough though. At least I get paid tonight. It's not much, but it's something. And even better, my lovely fiancée is so good to me, even when things seem to go wrong. One of so many things I love about her.

09 February, 2011

On Ferengi

Known to the rest of you as "The American Health Care System." Known to myself and many as "A load of fuckin' bullshit."

As instructed, I called Dr. Alter in the morning to confirm. By that point, the doctor was already in the OR, as I understand it, so I was back to talking to a nurse. She told me that my file was written up and ready, and that it would be $100. No, they don't take any health insurance. And that they had dropped it down from $150 "just for me."

I had $15 to my name, and it was in my pocket. I told them that was all I had, and asked them to take that for now and bill me the rest. After being on hold a couple times now, and being told that the girl on the other end was already being yelled at because the doctor was in the middle of a surgery (like that's my fault they never game me a TIME to call, they just said, "early,") I was told $75 and that that was all they could do.

I told them that I couldn't be in if they couldn't work with me. They had not told me anything about charges, nor did they mention they took NO health insurance, NOTHING. Complete back door greed and utter failure to behave professionally. Who pulls that shit? Especially a doctor?

I resigned myself that I wouldn't get looked at until next week with Dr. Deutsch. It knocked the wind out of my sails. Especially since it was after a particularly grueling night at work. I went home and continued the antibiotic ointment treatment after dilating, which seemed to be helping. And then I snuggled up with my baby.

But I did not sleep, this time. I couldn't. Instead, I meditated. I sought clarity. I demanded some answers. And I invoked wisdom and strength of my god. After all, I could not achieve our mutual goals if I could not survive this hurdle.

I believe I was blessed. After waking up, making some burritos for my baby and I, and taking a shower, I noticed something. The redness was way down. So was the odor. For that matter, most of the dying skin was gone except for a very small covering in the middle of my inner labia. I don't believe in miracles, per se. But sometimes, I have been blessed. We'll see how things go from here, but I'm feeling a lot better about everything.

08 February, 2011


I got off work yesterday morning and had to do one of my least favorite errands. I called the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, hoping to set up an urgent appointment to check on my bits. I want to make sure everything is okay. Unfortunately, Dr. Maddie Deutsch won't be in for about 10 more days, and while I scheduled a check for that anyways for my hormones, I needed something quicker.

They asked me to call Dr. Gary Alter, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon that is often recommended by the Center. When I called, the nurse asked where I had my GRS done. I could hear the disappointment in her voice when I said "Bangkok, Thailand." She warned me that they don't often look at other surgeon's cases, but that because Dr. Alter was in the OR at that moment, I should e-mail him and see what he can do. So I did.

I didn't have anything in my inbox when I woke up, which was around 1845. I had gone to sleep late, so waking then was a little later than normal. I figured they had just dropped me. To my surprise, I got a reply around 1930. He asked me to call early. I replied that, as a graveyard worker, he should define "early" for me. I could easily call at 0300 if he wanted to, after all.

Again surprising me, I had another reply around 2330 when I got to work. He booked me for noon Tuesday (today) and asked me to call in the morning to confirm things. Guess I'll do that around 0800 just to be safe. I can't find any hours on the website, which I think is kinda bullshit. At least someone will look, so I'll be grateful for that. I can't help the fact that I get nervous around new doctors, and this will be at least the 4th new one in the past year.

Now, the question is, I'm dead fuckin' broke, and I think my insurance expired while I was away, since they didn't withhold any payment. Hope that's not a problem...

05 February, 2011


I'll let the following two images explain what happened Wednesday night:

I decided that when I made this step, I was going to do it somewhere that meant something to both of us. There were probably several options for that, actually. However, we met at the transgender dance night at the Oxwood Inn in Van Nuys, and I knew that would be a perfect venue.

First off, for the record, while I popped the question to her in public, in private, she had already asked it of me. On top of that, we bought the rings together. So in a way tradition was fudged a little bit. Then again, it's still a marriage of two women, so, I suppose some "traditions" are already out the window.

Still, I wanted it to be perfect. We both decided that, maybe just once, we were going to go dressed up a little more than usual. Both of us tend to go with moderate tops and jeans, as that's more fitting of the "dive bar" environment, and for some reason, that's considered unusual. I have my theories on why, but that's for another post.

Yeah, we goth'd it up a bit. I even went all out with my platform heel boots, not that I need any more height than I have. We matched up as best we could, and I think we both looked beautiful. It was a bit quiet at the club, but then again, the mid week nights often are. That's okay. There was still the midnight show, though I wasn't sure what it was yet.

Still, I had made some preparations. I sent an e-mail to the MC of the club asking to borrow the mic around midnight. However, the date changed at the last second! I initially was going to do this on Thursday, but then the rehearsals (see previous post) came up. And the MC didn't get my last e-mail, the one saying I wanted to move to Wednesday AND explained what I was going to do. So, I looked a little suspicious walking up and talking to her about it before hand. Oh well.

At midnight, there was the performing act, a Lady Gaga impersonation/lip sync. After her two songs, the MC asked me up to the stage, as I was wanting her to do. She said that she wasn't sure what, but she let me take over. Gods was I nervous - apparently while Jäger can be a great way to calm down, a couple of JägerBOMBs, not so much. I forget what I said. I remember saying my name, and mentioning that I once met someone very special at that club. And I called her, "Ms. Elizabeth ****" to the stage.

"I remember the day you walked in the room in front of me...the day we met. And I knew that you were someone very special. And with each passing day, I knew more and more how much I love you." I got down on one knee.
Cries of, "Is this really happening?" rang out from the background among the gasps. I produced the rings.
"Elizabeth...will you marry me?"
She took the microphone from my hand after a short pause. Her voice was wavering just a little as she held back tears. And I believe she said, "Unabashedly, unequivocally, and unmistakably YES!" (She didn't hold the mic very close, but that's okay).

We embraced on that stage for a moment as I gave up the microphone. The MC was shocked! Because she never got my e-mail, she didn't know what was happening until it did. For that matter, the same with the photographer, who still did her best getting as many tender shots as she could. It was the transgender club's first ever proposal. And above all else, it was our night.

We ended up back home within a few short hours. We fell asleep in each other's arms, like we often do. And from that day, we have not held back telling the world, "Yes, that is my fiancée." I can't wait to call her my wife. It may be a long engagement, as there is much to do, both legally and otherwise, to make this wedding perfect. But when we do, it will replace that night as the greatest night of our lives.

On Complications...

I think anyone who's ever looked at transgender surgical procedures is aware that there is risk involved. Hells, there is risk for any surgery, for that matter. Vaginoplasty is also pretty invasive, at that, so it increases the risks. Ahead is a post that may be a bit much for the squeamish or the TMI crowd. I intend to speak very openly, and it would be fraudulent to both you and I to omit anything.

I'm fine. I want to emphasize that.

Yet I'm unsure what's going on. Lately, I've had some redness around the area, specifically just inside my labia majora. There have also been, I guess you could call it "trails" of dead skin extending from my labia minora. They look as if they are just leftover scab tissue from the healing that's been going on, and also that it hangs on, outlasting its usefulness in the process. It also kinda...smells. No nice way to put that.

We're hoping it's just a minor infection. I put some leftover Mybacin ointment on it for now, I'd like to see how that works. I also know that, like many other cases small to large, that getting a checkup is going to be difficult. My current primary physician is Dr. Maddie Deutsch at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. I know she is experienced in this, but the wait can be unpredictable. Yet I don't know if I can go anywhere else to help. If I did go to an urgent care or gynecologist's office, would they know what to expect? What to look for? Would they even look? I can't really say I know the answer to that.

I'd also be mildly ignorant to say I haven't looked at possible major complications. My paranoid side is freaking at one of them - Tissue Necrosis - as the symptoms/causes listed match in a small way. For right now, though, I think I can consider it minor unless it lasts for a long time. And yet I don't know exactly what to do, either. I don't have an exact answer. I suppose that, in itself, is why I write these things on this blog; because if I don't, and no one else does, who will help those that come after me? I'll keep this updated.

Darkest Before the Dawn

Been awhile. Sorry for the delay, but hey, here's a handful of updates!

So, while I was overseas, my band, God's Weapon, finished up (mostly) their last track on our debut album, "The Light and the Darkness." I got a scratch track by e-mail, but that barely did it justice. On Thursday, we met up at our rehearsal studio and worked it out. It was crazy breaking it down, especially since we are a 7 piece, and unfortunately drummer Lorne Ahmed was unavailable that night, but we did it. Our newest member, female vocalist Denise, jumped right into it with brand new lyrics. Completely mind blowing, at that; veteran member and male vocalist Adam Maloney has done so much lyric work with this band that I bet he was surprised to see such motivation from a brand new face. I think Denise will work out VERY well. Bonus points: Denise is also openly gay, and her girlfriend Laura has made practice appearances as well. Which worked out well for Elizabeth, as she has someone to chat with.

Keep an eye out, as well, for some upcoming news. In addition to this great tune (see blog title), Elizabeth also pulled out some cameras and got some great shots that night. Getting some real press exposure is going to be  nice boost for us, as well, if we work this right. My sweetheart has quite a few talents, even if she is somewhat reluctant to admit it at times.

Anyways, the game plan is to get into the studio by February 19th for finishing up both Love is Strength's vocal and violins, and laying down all of Darkest Before the Dawn. We're looking at taking the next couple of weeks to refine the tune, maybe finish the scratch track before we head in. The energy is up! Can't wait!

Traf Lewis: Guitars & M Vocals
Adam Maloney: M Lead Vocals
Denise Morrow: F Lead Vocals
Margot Lane: Violins
Beaux Bruggman: Guitars
Sera Wohldmann: Bass Guitar & MtF Vocals
Lorne Ahmed: Drums