System Shock


(Me and fellow patient Leah – who very kindly lent me the wheelchair, making an impromptu dash for sunlight and fresh air at Charing Cross Hospital, a week post-surgery)

Some of you already know that I was, at long last (although the three years I have been waiting is by no means considered an unusually long duration for this), recently admitted to hospital for my gender confirmation surgery, hence why I have been less than active online of late. I am now feeling strong enough to post upon this subject, though it has certainly taken its toll on me (I have never had any form of surgery before, nor spent any significant time in hospital, and the system shock has been quite extreme).

First of all, I would like to thank and praise the staff at Charing Cross Hospital (Riverside Ward especially) for their care and devotion over that week, especially since I fear I was not the easiest of patients (being a vegan and a massive worrier). My deepest thanks also to the surgeon (Mr. Roland Morley) and his team of specialists (especially Martina and Manjit) for having helped me finally cross this threshold and become as fully myself as I can be. Also, love and thanks to my ward-mates Lisa and Leah for their sweetness and empathy during this often harrowing time.

It was scary, I don’t deny, and very humbling. Having various tubes inserted in me within minutes of arrival, being put under general anaesthetic, being uncomfortably trussed up in compression bandages, not being able to shower for days, not even being able to go to the toilet without signalling for assistance, catheters, drains, drugs, blood, fainting fits, sleeplessness … etc. Darling hubby Cal and my dear friend Helena (who took the above picture) were there to keep me company when they could, but it is certainly not an experience I would choose to repeat for anything less (so we can forget all about breast enhancement, facial feminisation, etc. I can be content with the rest of myself, and there are less painful ways to compensate if I feel the need). Even now, the after-care is far from over. I will spare the graphic details, suffice it to say the healing is a long process and I can expect to be low on stamina for months ahead, even assuming no complications (Signs are OK so far, but I won’t say no to any good vibes, prayers, or healing spells anyone wishes to send).

I have been stuck in the flat for days now, which is certainly frustrating for me (I rarely spend a whole day indoors). I cannot exercise, nor attend my dance classes, nor model. Still, it is not a decision I regret, and I know all of that will come in time. I am sleeping well again, eating food I like, spending more time out of bed, and finally feeling up to a bit of blogging. Nevertheless, I still have to take regular painkillers, be very careful not to exert myself, and spend an inordinate amount of time on my back (If nothing else, I have at least caught up on my reading). The test of endurance is far from over, and as for the peculiar idea – beloved of the gender-critical school – that people would do this sort of thing for fun, I have no words to express my incredulity.

17 thoughts on “System Shock

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  1. Thinking about you everyday, Beautiful! Rest well, and take good care of you… The recovery journey will certainly be a bumpy ride, but it is totally worth it, right? 😉

    Sending you much much love!! Muuuuuuah!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. 🙂 xxx It has been so lovely hearing from you throughout this process. A reminder that there is still a world waiting for me outside hospital walls and our little flat, if I can just be patient and sensible …


  2. Wonderful news. So pleased to hear the surgical part of the ordeal is behind you.
    Thanks for sharing and I hope the recovery is speedy. Prayers will continue for you and for Cal.


  3. Oh Eleanor! I am just beside myself! I’m so happy that at long last you have had this surgery. I’m certain it is ridiculously tiring and draining and not at all a ‘fun’ thing to have had to undergo. But I am still finding myself smiling through tears while reading this news.
    Great big (and gentle) hugs to you! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So pleased to know you at this stage of the journey, Eleanor ❤️. Much dancing and modelling and magic lies ahead. Of that I am sure xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, wonderful. 🙂 xxx Getting there, little by little, but so grateful right now to have an attentive hubby. I have the rest of my life to be a strong independent woman, but right now it is as well not to be too proud to let my loved ones take
      care of me …


  5. Oh Eleanor, it’s so good to hear that you’ve finally done it.
    My very warmest wishes for a speedy recovery and a full and fulfilling life.
    I have a friend who is going for her surgery next month and I hope hers goes as well as yours.
    Take good care of yourself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you’ve been able to do it, and YES, surgery is surgery. I had no idea when I got what was supposed to be ‘minor’ surgery once in the UK, and it affected me profoundly on every level. It does seem wise to decide against further surgeries now that you know they affect you so strongly. Best wishes, and now I’ll go read the update. I had missed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. 🙂 I certainly don’t have any regrets over it, but I definitely wouldn’t want to go through this again for any trivial reasons. In any case, I shall need my strength in due course to support the hubby through his surgery … x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the thing: we are fortunate that the level of surgery and technology these days can be really life-saving and sanity-saving, and yet some also misuse it for things that are optional at best and unwise and dangerous at worst–but at least the options exist, which has not been true for a very long portion of history. I think that people finding our remains in future will be very puzzled by things like cheek and chin implants next to skulls etc. and other odd plastic and metal doodads here and there in torsos and limbs.

        Liked by 1 person

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