Surgery Part 1 - Referral

Hello everyone, My name is Louise.

It's been a little while since Nicola posted an introduction I know, but sometimes
words flow easily for me and sometimes I have a bit of writer's block.

She has asked me to write a few pieces about my experiences with getting my GRS/GCS/Bottom Surgery, which actually happened in the summer of 2017.
As a result my entries here are going to include some pretty blunt descriptions talking about genitals, so if you think that might upset you, please feel free to skip over my entries.

So the first thing that happened was my referral for the surgery...

I had been asked several times at my appointments about my feelings and I had kept putting it off. To me at the time it felt a long way off and I honestly felt that my own dysphoria wasn't centred around having those genitals as they were.
But one time towards the middle of 2016, my answer changed.

After being on a hormone regime and T-blockers for over a year my genitals were not properly functional any more as my testicles had shrunk and were no longer producing sperm. This meant
for me that I felt very non-sexual mostly. Any time I did try anything down there I found it to be very hard work, eventually culminating in an orgasm which was both unsatisfying in it's intensity and actually distressing to see the pathetic squirt of carrier fluid that was the result.
So I now viewed them as being "in my way". I had started being quite upset at even having to touch them to tuck away each day.

So I said yes, let's move for a referral, explaining the above reasons. This was during a meeting with the clinician I had been seeing since my second appointment.
We talked about the different options available and the places I could go for the operation. There are currently 3 places in the country doing NHS work and I pretty easily settled on wanting to go to the Nuffield in Brighton, specifically to have my operation done by Mr. Thomas.
At the time I had known one other woman who went for her surgery there and she recommended it very highly, so the decision was pretty easy.

I know we talked about risks as well, though my memory of exactly which ones is not good. The percentages sounded quite tiny, and it seemed to me that the surgery team was experienced enough to fix things if they went wrong.

None of this put me off and the decision was that she was happy to be the first referrer for my surgery. A second one is required and so the plan was to set up a meeting with their other clinician to see if they agreed.

I came away quite happy, but expecting a long wait.

A few days later I got a letter for an appointment about a month later, in early July I think.
Much quicker than expected.

This one was much more formal. I had expected that as I knew who the other clinician was and she had been the one at my very first GIC appointment.
She basically had a tick sheet where she ran through each risk and asked me if I knew of it, and then how I felt about it.
Each time the percentages and possibilities of fixing any problems sounded good to me and I was able to explain that I thought the risk was acceptable.
We got to the end and the final question was how did I feel about the operation overall and the risks involved.
I said I was nervous but that I felt the benefits outweighed the possible risks.
She quite simply said that she was happy to sign off on the referral, but she wasn't sure how long it would take the Nuffield to get back to me, which was fair enough.

The road to Brighton was begun...

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