Then came the preparations. It took forever to shave all my fur off; had I known I would shave from my belly down to my knees I would have used my electric shaver at home to make it easier. Then I had to take two of those things that make you poop, 3 hours apart. It really wasn't bad at all; I was expecting to have all this uncomfortable stuff but I guess I got lucky?
I was miserable- my back and head were aching from lying down in one spot for the 9 hour surgery, and I wasn't allowed to move for 3 days. For some reason they couldn't even put a pillow under my back. I just kept rocking my head back and forth- the only thing I was allowed to move. A while later they rushed me back into the operating room for another surgery because of some bleeding that still hadn't stopped. This time they didn't put me out first- I got to see the OR and experience them moving me from my bed to the operating table. At last-- I got to move!! Then, obviously, they gave me anaesthesia...
I woke up in my hospital bed again, with Gradimir singing again, lol. He gave me more arnica. Total deja vu...
The 2nd day post op I was able to move my arms enough to use my computer, which made all the difference. Miro also brought my iPod speakers from the apartment, which totally made me more comfortable and feel at home.
I wish I had brought mouthwash, as I couldn't brush my teeth the first 3 days because I couldn't move. I felt gross from not showering, and I need to wash my hair pretty often. I did a lot of meditating on my hunger and discomfort, accepting/embracing the situation I couldn't change, instead of fighting and rejecting it. Reminding myself that I had WANTED to do this surgery and was FORTUNATE that I finally had my wish come true. Pooping was a nightmare, using the bed pan and having a nurse clean up afterwards. It made those 3 days of not eating seem worth it :)
Day 4 I got out of bed for the first time. Felt like the walking dead! First thing I did was brush my teeth, wash my face, and run some water through my hair. Then I stood by the window to get some fresh air and look at the "view." I also stopped taking pain killers that day, because the injection hurt too much. I found that their tea relaxed me more than anything else, and I'm sure the arnica was helping too.
Day 6 post-op I was already getting in and out bed myself a few times a day, going to the bathroom on my own, and eating at a normal table. The next day I finally got to shower!! I came back to life! Got dressed and Marta drove me back to the apartment.
Marta was my angel during my stay in Serbia. Gorgeous, sensitive, gentle, respectful, funny; they couldn't have picked a better person to visit me every day, change the bandages and remove the drains. She visited me in the apartment a couple of times until my flight back around a week later.
Miro also came to visit once- and brought me a mug as a gift, which I found very touching- and decided that the following day I should come back to the hospital to have my staples and some stitches removed. When I got there, Miro asked if I mind being interviewed by a journalist who was doing some sort of something about the hospital. I had already been in a trans documentary at home, so I was used to being interviewed on film and was excited to be on Serbian t.v., lol. Afterwards, the journalist told me that I look very happy.
Miro was off to Japan the day before I flew home, and he had wanted to hang out with me the morning of his flight. He called to apologize that he doesn't have time, and to wish me all the best and that he hopes I'll be pleased with the results. From start to finish-- even from my first e-mail to him a year ago-- he was caring, patient, committed.
George drove me back to the airport and helped me with my luggage up to the check-in.
Two days ago I took Buddy out to play for the first time. I took a really good look at him with a hand-held mirror, stroked him, held him in different positions and looked from different angles. It was really the first time I've ever seen him as part of my body (as opposed to this surgical thing I need to clean and be careful with and always have something supporting him so he doesn't fall off.) And I was filled with peace, love, and joy. A few hours later it really hit me- I just cried, as I repeated over and over: