Recently, I have noticed the tissue around the clitoris has become sore again. It is an interesting kind of sore, unlike anything I have experience in the past. It is not too painful but more uncomfortable and tends to be more noticeable when moving around. Looking at it, it is evident where the problem is. The area is a lovely healthy pink apart from this small part that really stands out as red and angry. My granulation internally has never really gone away and is evident with pain on inserting the smaller dilator (the bigger one is fine oddly) and the gel that comes back out is a rusty colour.
I have gave it five weeks and took the plunge in emailing Brighton. I was offered three choices:
- Get my GP to treat it - easiest.
- Get my GP to refer me to a local gynaecologist - possible long wait.
- Return to Brighton for them to treat it - 350 mile round trip.
I rang them on Monday and explained everything to a receptionist. She didn't understand too much about what I was talking about but her suggestion was to ring first thing on Tuesday and grab one of the duty Dr. appointments that would be available that day. I did so and two hours later I was explaining to my GP what the problem was.
She seemed un-fazed by it all and was more concerned whether I was happy for her to proceed. She stated she had no silver-nitrate in stock but could order it in if necessary. Would I like to lie on the bed for her to have a look at what the problem is? Actually, showing her my new vagina was not a problem and she had seen the gruesome sight that had been there before. Now she could see the real me and she was quite impressed with the outcome! It was also interesting with Mandy there too. All those years of being with her for her smear tests, and now it was me being "invaded". She didn't hold my bloody hand though...
We quickly found the external problem and then I am being asked about size of speculum's (or is that speculii?). I suggest a medium, given that I am at the biggest dilators there are. She puts it in very gently, and starts looking around. She proclaims confidently that she can see the problem and that she can get to it. She is more than happy to order the silver nitrate in and have a go. She then makes the mistake of pulling the speculum out a little quickly and there is an "ooh" moment!
"40% or 95% strength", she asks. We do not know to be honest so we opt for the gentler option. I am given a prescription and I take it around the corner to the pharmacy. The actually have it in stock and two days later, I work the system again and get an on the day appointment. Since then though, I have learned from Brighton that we actually need 75% sticks instead of the pencils we have.
I talk to my GP about this and we decide to have a go anyway with the 40% pencils. She starts work on the external and that familiar tingly fizzing sensation is soon apparent. In goes another speculum and with the aid of some forceps, she manages to get the pencil in and start working on the internal granulation. She even manages to find another patch too and worked on that. I clean up and now put a panty liner on, the first one for some time because there is going to be a mess!
I thank her for what she has done, and even mention how many GP's will not do this. She seems surprised at that, but that is the reality of what I hear from others. We agree that the best course of action is to put the 75% sticks on my repeat prescription and have another treatment in five weeks. This was booked on my way out and I left feeling confident that this will get sorted in the end, even if there are a few more visits.
My GRS time-line :
- Surgery recollections - The day of the surgery itself.
- Bed rest - The days following surgery and the critical resting phase.
- Vaginal pack removal and first dilations - The day I saw my vagina for the first time and started dilating.
- Catheter woes and first solo dilations - Catheter comes out, goes back in again! I also dilate without supervision for the first time.
- An adventure of a lifetime - Getting back home and reflecting on the whole experience.
- 10 days post-op - Getting back to normality and bad smells!
- 2 weeks post-op - Catheter removal and successful toileting.
- 3 weeks post-op - Healing well and advancing dilation.
- 4 weeks post-op - More healing and hot flushes.
- 6 weeks post-op - An emotional time.
- 2 Months post-op - A clitoris emerges!