Someone once asked us all in the alt.eunuchs.questions newsgroup about our feelings before and during the castration procedure. So many of us had described the surgical procedure itself and the after effects, but how were we feeling and what were we thinking the day before castration, and the morning before we went through with it?
This page contains a journal of my week in Philadelphia PA when I received my castration by Dr. Spector in April of 1999. Not only do I describe the things that I experienced, but also my feelings as these things took place. In addition to getting castrated, I had some other special life experiences during this week.
*Dr. Spector and Sherry are the only true names I have used on this page. I used fictitious names for all other persons that I mention here to protect their identities. Everyone that I wrote about here is a very special person that I met and interacted with during this very special week of my life.
Today was the day that I was to arrive in Philadelphia by plane. I have been looking forward to getting castration so much. I have had some fears about things going wrong during or immediately after the procedure, but I realize that I must go through with this in order to get what I really want: impotence, serenity, and the elimination of the horrid male hormones from my body.
I had first called Spector eight weeks ago, and had set my castration appointment for April 13th, now only two days away. I had gone to great lengths to assure that this trip would be a successful one. Without delay I had provided Spector the number of my home town pharmacy so he could prescribe the Cipro antibiotics he wanted me to start taking two days before the surgery, and I had obtained these in early March. I had chosen to set my appointment on a Tuesday so I could arrive in Philadelphia two days before, and set my departure for the Sunday after. I had considered returning back home earlier, but the airlines would have charged me $800 more for my plane tickets, and even with the increased lodging costs I would still save hundreds by staying for a whole week.
I arrived at the airport in Fayetteville AR a little earlier than I needed to, and I waited with the other passengers on my flight. I thought about these others as I waited. Many of them were visiting relatives and perhaps some were on business trips. None of them had any idea why I was among them today, and I could only imagine how they would react if they found out. I was on a very secret personal mission.
At last we boarded our plane, and we took off. As the plane lifted into the air, I thought about how I was going to return without my testicles!
I had to make a connection in Memphis TN, and just before takeoff I got very nervous about a less than minor occurrence. My plane taxied down the runway, in line behind several other planes, but before we took off my plane moved out of line and seemed to wait on the side. What now? I had wanted castration so much, and I had worried that anything might prevent me from getting my orchiectomy. I had set my flight date for two days before my surgery date to ensure that flight delays could not keep me out of Philadelphia on Tuesday, but this brief delay still had me quite worried until the pilot informed us that we were delaying our takeoff for about ten minutes because of airport delays caused by stormy weather in Philadelphia. Soon we were on our way again, and my worries eased.
I usually get a window seat because I love to look at the scenery below, and this helped take my mind off of my upcoming surgery. But the skies clouded up over eastern Kentucky, the clouds were too bright to look at, and my mind drifted back to what I was about to go through. Was this doctor going to work out? Would I have heavy bleeding or infection? What about osteoporosis? I knew that I would never seek testosterone, but I also knew that I might never be able to obtain estrogen. In two days I would throw my body off on a tangent, for once I eliminated the testosterone my body would take a course different from what it would have done if I were to do nothing. But one thing was certain. If I didn't go through with this, I was going to be miserable and unhappy with testosterone until I did get castrated, or if I never did it at all then I would feel this way for the rest of my life. Life after castration would not be perfect, but it would be quite an improvement over the path that I had been on for the first 31 years of my life. The surgery would last for only a short time, even if something did go wrong, but the benefits would last my lifetime. If my body was going off on a tangent, my life would be returning to its proper course.
The weather in my life ahead of me appeared as stormy as the weather below me outside, but I was determined to get through this storm because I wanted to go to the place beyond the storm. Now the plane began the descent through the clouds. Our pilot did a remarkable job of getting us through the solid cloud layer, for it did not seem very rough at all. Let's hope my surgery goes just as smoothly.
Both of my parents had been born and raised in Philadelphia, and I had dozens of non-immediate relatives here, but none of them knew that I had come to their city. They must not know what I am up to. I visit my grandmother, aunt, uncles, and cousins in Phoenix almost every year, and in courtesy I always call my mother after a flight to let her know that I arrived safely, but this time I called nobody. My mom doesn't even know that I am on any trip, and I'm not about to let her know what I'm doing now. I was entirely on my own here.
I caught a taxicab and rode to the bed and breakfast place where I would reside during this very special week of my life. The driver zoomed up to 85MPH on the wet and slick road. Please, I want to get there alive! He was awfully inquisitive as he drove, and I didn't dare tell him that I was about to have my testicles cut off, so I had to make up some story about seeing some friends that I had known long ago. I was worried that he might figure out I was doing something very unusual, but he seemed to accept my story.
We passed by an inner city school that reminded me of the movie 'Lean On Me', and then plunged into the maze of inner city streets. I had been warned not to rent a car because parking would be impossible. Now I was glad that I hadn't, because every street had solid rows of cars parallel parked tightly, my goodness, how do these people manage to park like that with the traffic so busy, even if there ever was a parking space available? I live in a town of only 2000 people and I was not used to this kind of traffic at all. There were bars on every window, and people locked up everything around here. These same iron bars fenced in the local park. EEK! What am I getting myself into? I hope I get through this without getting mugged or worse.
The driver commented about the neighborhood being dangerous, and that only added to my apprehension. He must have been considering moving away from here, because he asked me about my hometown, what the people were like, and the cost of living. Finally we arrived at my destination, and I was relieved that the driver tarried until I was inside the building.
The bed and breakfast place that I stayed at was only three blocks from Dr. Spector's office. To protect the identity of the person that runs this bed and breakfast, I will call her Vicki*. I stayed in one of two rooms on the third floor, both of which had a shared bathroom. When I was trying to find a place to stay, someone had referred me to Vicki and told me she was gay friendly. I had already told Vicki on the phone that I was coming to see Dr. Spector, so now as she worked in the other room she asked me about why I was seeking castration.
Up to this point in time I had never trusted anybody with my gender issues. My stepfather was OK whenever he noticed me doing anything sissy, but otherwise I had had only negative experiences whenever discussing my issues with anybody. The last time I had ever told anybody was in 1991 when I told a pastor of a fundamentalist church, and he had responded by laying hands on me, rebuking 'the homosexual spirit' in me, and then putting me through an exorcist session two days later. In my 31 years of life, no good had ever come of my disclosing about myself to anybody.
I had already talked with Dr. Spector on the phone about my gender, but Vicki was the first person I had talked with in person who kindly responded to me and accepted who and what I was. She told me of many others like me who had transitioned to their desired gender and had transformed enough that nobody could tell that they had ever been born as the other sex. I was already seeing possibilities after my castration, and for the first time in my life there was someone who accepted and liked the real me.
I still had to confront my fear of the neighborhood. Dr. Spector's office was just a few minutes walk away, and Vicki assured me that I would be OK outside because there were always many people walking though the neighborhood even in the late evening. Besides, crime rates had fallen since the early 1990s. I had forgotten to call Dr. Spector before I left home, so I felt that I really needed to see him this evening.
Soon I was knocking on the doctor's door, and I immediately recognized the face I had seen on his website. I had made it! The doctor was elderly, but I had already known that from reading about his long work history on his website. The doctor took me into his office, and I saw the table where I would have my castration done. I was concerned and disappointed that this was a home office setting and not like a doctor's office at all. Besides the table there were two desks and several cabinets of stuff in the room. Is this going to work out? But where else was I to get castrated? Hundreds of others had obtained what I wished for right here in this room, and they had made it through OK. I knew of nowhere else and nobody else, and I could either go through with this and get what I've always wanted in less than 48 hours, or I could live indefinitely with testosterone in my body. I choose to take my chances.
Now the doctor asked me about why I wanted castration. I told him about my gender issues and that I hated the male sex drive, and my positive coming out experience with Vicki was repeated for the second time today. Despite the less than ideal surgery setting, I had the feeling that everything was going to be all right and this would all work out. Dr. Spector was assured that I really wanted to do this, and that I would be happy afterwards.
We also discussed estrogen hormones. The doctor seemed to really want to sell me hormones, but he wanted $200 a month for them. I also felt that the doses were pretty high, and one of the reasons I was getting castrated was so that I would never need high and risky amounts of HRT. I think the doctor stretch the truth a bit, for although I had lost a lot of head hair, he tried to tell me that I would regrow all of it on HRT. He also insisted that I would not have any hot flashes or bone density loss from castration, whether or not I did HRT. I declined Spector's offer for HRT because of the cost and that he seemed too enthusiastic about selling me his estrogen. I have gone with no HRT for two and a half years, but as I write this, I finally expect to be on a safe dose of estrogen very soon.
Spector then drove me around downtown Philadelphia and showed me many of the historical sights, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and many newer things too. We went out to eat at a large restaurant along the Delaware River. I don't remember the name of the place anymore, but I do recall the many pool tables and tons of video and virtual games, one of which took up all of a large room. Spector treated me as the woman I felt I was inside, even though I was not dressed as one at the time. We talked a lot more about what I was about to do, and the many good things I would soon experience, and he cracked some jokes.
But the service at this restaurant was awful. We had to wait more than 20 minutes to get a table. Then they really undercooked Dr. Spector's green beans, which aggravated a dental problem that he had. Later he ordered a cake for dessert, but when it was apparent that he would have to wait until doomsday for it, he canceled dessert and asked for the bill while apologizing for keeping me there for so long. But they weren't efficient with getting our bill either, and while we were waiting for that, the waitress serving the table behind me spilled some drinks on me.
After dinner the doctor showed me more of Philadelphia, and we stopped at the downtown post office where the doctor sent a box of hormones to a transsexual in California. Finally he dropped me off at my bed and breakfast, and my long day finally ended.
I had another one of those gender related dreams this morning. I have many dreams that pertain to gender, and my favorite dreams are the ones where I go back to some time long ago and relive an experience that I had, except this time as a girl. This was one of those dreams. Our family was on one of our camping trips, and we were all riding around a lake. I am really not an outdoors type person at all, but just dreaming that I was Sherry and not 'him' at the time was so pleasant.
Of my eight days in Philadelphia, today was the only day that I did not see Dr. Spector at all. I had a day to kill before I went through my castration, and I walked all over the downtown to see the many places that Dr. Spector had pointed out to me last night. I also browsed in many stores and purchased a few souvenirs. I added the third CD of Chuck Wild's 'Liquid Mind' to my new age music collection. The Liquid Mind series is especially relaxing, and I have used this during electrolysis sessions. Though I counted down the hours until my appointment, I tried to not think about tomorrow's surgery too much, and whenever I would begin to fear the procedure, I would think about the aftereffects that I would soon gain.
Tomorrow I would go through something that very few people dare to do, or even dare to discuss. Today I was just another tourist in downtown Philadelphia.
I returned home in the early evening and began the preparations for my surgery. I was relieved that nobody was using the other room tonight, which meant that I would have the bathroom to myself while I shaved the pubic area at Dr. Spector's request. I had tried shaving this area once when I was 16, but I didn't like the prickly feeling from the stubble, so I had not tried it since. This was just something else I had to do to get what I wanted.
After eating some breakfast I walked over to the market less than two blocks from my room. I picked up some bread, sandwich supplies, and 7up, because I expected to not feel like going out anywhere for some time after my surgery. Now I was worrying about the procedure again. The worst thing I had ever been through up to this time was my wisdom tooth extractions, and I had never required significant surgery in my life. But as much as I feared an operation, I was even more excited about getting rid of my testicles and the testosterone they produced.
I would have to be very brave for the next few hours. How painful was this going to be? The doctor appears old, is he going to be capable? Is the room safe? One thing I knew for sure, I really wanted to get castrated, and I knew that if I backed out I would regret not doing this until the day I did it. I already regretted not being castrated when I was younger. If I went ahead, I would be happily recovering in several hours from now, however nasty the procedure turned out to be. Many others had made it before me, and I knew that I would get through this too.
When I returned from the market, Vicki called me on the phone in my room. She thought that I had already gone through the procedure and was concerned about how I was feeling and if I was OK. Vicki truly cares for her patrons, and especially for Dr. Spector's patients. Oh, I wished I already was through the procedure and resting up from it.
Dr. Spector had requested that I bring a jock strap to wear during and after the surgery. I remember having received one of these on my 13th birthday and despising it. Most male things merely did not interest me, but I truly felt that there was something repulsive about jock straps, and I had never worn one anytime in my life up until now. But I really wanted my castration, and jock straps were just another unpleasant thing to endure in order to reach my goals.
Now it was a few minutes before my 11AM appointment, and I walked the three blocks to Spector's office. The doctor started off by giving me another informal consultation similar to the one we had on Sunday night. I also signed a release form, which stated that I was aware about the effects of castration, that I would be impotent and certainly infertile, and might experience possible complications. Well I sure hoped that I ended up impotent from this, and I didn't care for male fertility either. I was certainly more than willing to risk complications in order to get rid of testosterone. This release form and the payment of the castration fee are the only prerequisites for castration by Dr. Spector.
Then I confronted yet another one of those unpleasant things I would have to go through to get rid of testosterone. Nobody had laid eyes on my genitals for the past 20 years and I didn't look forward to anyone seeing them now, but to accomplish what I wanted I was going to have to lie there on that table with them exposed for a couple of hours.
The doctor thanked me for shaving the area last night as he rubbed a lot of betadine all over my midsection. Then it was time for the anesthetic injections, for this procedure would be impossible unless I was numb. On Sunday night the doctor had tried to assure me that these shots would not be bad at all. But when he stuck the needle in my abdomen a few inches above my genitals, I felt that this was the nastiest injection I had ever received in my life. Then I had to endure that again when Spector injected into the other side. The elderly doctor would hesitate just before injecting me, oh please get this over with, owwww this hurts!
I knew ahead of time that I would receive two injections in the lower abdomen, and I was relieved when I had finished enduring the second shot. But now I watched the doctor prepare for another injection, oh what now? He was going to inject a third time, and this one was going through the bottom of my scrotum. This last one was a lot worse than those other two awful shots, and Spector's nurse had to coach me through this one as if I was a woman in labor. I guess nature made this area very sensitive to pain in order to protect the reproductive organs.
Now the three of us chatted as we waited for the anesthetic to take effect. Every few minutes Dr. Spector would poke my genitals to see if they were numbing. Some areas were going numb, but my case seemed to be one of the slower ones. I started to worry if the anesthetic was ever going to take effect, because how would I get my castration if it did not.
Then the doctor prepared to give me more shots. Not again! But the injection sites were already numb and I did not feel these next two shots at all. We chatted some more and waited.
Finally my genitals were completely numb and the doctor was ready to start cutting. I think he started the surgery just after noon, but I was unable to keep track of how much time the procedure took. There was a clock in the room, but to look at it I would have to look past myself where I was having the surgery, and I did not want to see myself cut open at all. I think it took about two hours. I just lay there on the table and kept my arms on my chest to make sure I didn't see any of it. Throughout the procedure, I kept worrying that the doctor would cut into an area that wasn't numb.
I felt no pain, but I did feel pressure around the area as the doctor worked on it. I felt something cold splash on my legs and was told that this was the fluid from inside the scrotal sac. Sperm can't survive at normal body temperature, so the body has to keep this area cool.
It seemed to take a while. Finally the doctor was cutting into the cords of one of the testicles, and soon he announced that one of them was detached. This was going to work out after all, but it was no good until both were gone.
I waited and waited to hear that the second testicle had been cut off. It seemed to be taking an awful long time, and I waited anxiously. Finally I asked the doctor how he was doing on the second one, and he told me that he had already cut the second testicle off and was now sewing me back up. Spector had forgotten to inform me when the second one was detached. After so many years of wondering if there was even any doctor willing to castrate me, I had finally obtained my dream. Now I already felt relief, because I had made it through the procedure, and had only to recover form it.
I never did see my testicles. Dr. Spector normally wants his patients to view their testicles after they have been detached so that the patient knows for sure they have been castrated. After castration the patient often develops lumps where the testicles were, and Spector told me that some patients have called him back claiming that they hadn't been castrated at all. I had asked the doctor to spare me this gory sight, for I knew I would feel sick if I saw myself cut open or my bloody parts. I would know I was castrated by the aftereffects and I would go by how I felt. The doctor reluctantly granted me my wish to not have me see my parts. I don't know what he did with them, and I don't care.
At last the doctor had me stitched up, and gave me some instructions on aftercare. I would have to keep the area dry for a week to ten days. Spector asks his patients to report for follow up care the day after surgery, and since I was spending the whole week in town, he offered to check up on me every day until I departed, and for no extra charge. Since I was one of the more sensitive patients, Spector sent three pain pills with me.
Dawn* waited outside the office as I finished up with my session. As I left the office Dawn came in for her brief appointment to continue her HRT treatment. Dawn had been on estrogen for seven months, and despite being 72 years old she was turning out to be not only passable and feminine, but also very pretty. If she could do this, then so could I. Just seeing Dawn this one time convinced me that I could both transform and transition into whatever I felt like I was inside.
For now I walked the three blocks back to my bed and breakfast. Two aspirin got me through the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I made two sandwiches and watched TV to pass the evening. I still had my recovery ahead of me, but my castration was finished and I no longer had the anxiety of getting through a procedure. Not only did I feel so relieved, I also felt so elated. I could not wait to feel the effects of testosterone loss. For now I felt only the pain in my genital area, and took a pain pill before going to bed. I also slept very well the night after my castration.
I had a fright shortly after I woke up this morning. When I went to the bathroom I noticed that the left side of my scrotum and penile shaft had turned dark purple, while the right side was not discolored at all. Was I hemorrhaging inside? My appointment with Dr. Spector for my follow-up was not until 1:30 today; maybe I should call him up now? But I felt OK and was not feeling faint or going into shock, so I decided to wait and endured my fears.
Spector assured me that the mild bleeding was normal, and as he examined the area he commented that everything looked good and that I was already starting to heal nicely. Whew, I would not need additional treatment.
Spector took me out again after the checkup. We ate at a grill a few blocks from his office, and then the doctor took me downtown again. We ate ice cream at a counter inside a large market. I didn't walk very much today, and the doctor took me back to the car when he sensed that I was feeling chilly. Today was nice, sunny, and 68 degrees, the warmest day during my visit here, yet the light breeze was still enough to chill me. But I was glad that I didn't come to this concrete jungle during the midsummer, it must be awful in August. The doctor drove me to some more sights, and then he returned me to the bed and breakfast.
I reported to Dr. Spector's office at 1PM today for another follow-up, and the doctor said that I was still healing nicely. After my appointment he took me out again. Today we went to the Gallery Mall below the downtown, and when I was ready to purchase a cassette tape, the doctor ran it through the checkout himself and paid for it for me.
Dr. Spector drove me around the Fairmount Park to show me some more sights. I wanted to go in the Franklin Institute, so we figured that I would be OK if he dropped me off here and I could walk the mile and a half back to my bed and breakfast. I stayed for a couple of hours, and though I still felt discomfort in the surgery area, I made the long walk back to Vicki's OK. Only two days after my castration I was getting back to normal already.
I saw Dr. Spector for my third follow-up visit at 10:30 this morning because he had another castration to perform this afternoon. My healing was still OK. Even though the doctor had an afternoon patient, he still had time to drive me around a little. Today he dropped me off at a ferry station and paid my round trip fare so I could cross the Delaware River and visit the aquarium in Camden.
Philadelphia experienced miserable weather today. The tallest skyscrapers disappeared into the dark clouds that hung over us all day today, and after returning to the Pennsylvania side of the river I got caught in a passing thunderstorm. Eventually I made it to the Gallery again for something to eat, and then I visited Ms. Thomas*.
Ms. Thomas is another person who runs a bed and breakfast in the area and takes many of Dr. Spector's patients. Like Vicki she is also very pleasant, caring, concerned, and open minded. We chatted for a while, but I had to cut my visit a little short because the person getting castrated by Dr. Spector today was staying here, and the doctor would be driving them back here very soon. Before I left, Mr. Thomas suggested that I go to Giovanni's Room and see what information I could find there.
Giovanni's Room is the local gay and lesbian bookstore in Philadelphia. Just six months before I would not have entered this place, but ever since my gender issues had surfaced last November I have had to confront my own bigotry, which I had acquired long ago when I had tried to suppress these gender issues. Oh, I've come such a long way in the last several months.
I asked the cashier if the store had books on transgender, and they kindly led me to the transgender section on the second floor. I saw many of the books I had seen mentioned on the internet, and I picked out 'Conundrum' by Jan Morris. There were many more books including a title 'Mom I Need to be a Girl', oh this had to be good. This book was written by the mother of a male-to-female transsexual who was able to transition at an age most of us can only wish, because she had such a supportive family. I stayed in this store into the evening, forgetting that I wanted to get safely back to Vicki's before dark, but I really got carried away here in this interesting place. So I had to walk out in the dark, but I made it back to my room OK.
Oops, I overslept a little and arrived at Spector's office 20 minutes late for my 9AM appointment. But the doctor came in even later than I did, and I got to meet another patient of his. Emily* was a middle aged transsexual who was on HRT and had been castrated by Dr. Spector. She had more physical factors to overcome than Dawn, but the hormones were having obvious effects and Emily had already transitioned full time.
I was now four days post-castration. My surgical incision was healing normally and the doctor thought it was time to remove most of the stitches. The sutures that Spector uses do not fall out on their own, and most patients have to either find a doctor in their home town to remove them, or some patients grin and bear it as they tease them out themselves. Now I was really glad that I had stayed the whole week here. Still, I did feel pain ow! ow! as the doctor removed most of the sutures. Then there was one last stitch, but Spector decided to leave this last one in for another day and would consider removing it tomorrow.
This morning I was feeling some waves of sadness because today would be my last full day here in Philadelphia and I would have to leave this place and all of the wonderful people I have met. Six days ago I came here timid and afraid, not knowing whom to trust, and even wondering if I could survive this city. But a gender queer like me was probably a lot safer here than in Stepford Arkansas. Then I met many wonderful and special people and had accomplished a lifelong dream. Oh, I don't want to think about tomorrow, the idea of leaving this place and my new friends in exchange for the repressive environment back in Arkansas was so depressing.
But I still had one more full day here to enjoy, and little did I know what adventures awaited me today.
After seeing Dr. Spector I returned to Vicki's. Vicki had asked me if I would switch rooms so that the other guests could have the room with two beds. As I moved my things to the room with the single bed, I thought about what I would do with my last full day in Philadelphia.
Vicki came back up and asked me if I could do a favor. She had a friend on the phone who was transsexual and had some questions about my castration, and I was put on the phone with Selma*. Selma seemed timid on the phone, and the background noise from her workplace made it a little difficult to hear her. After a brief conversation, Selma's boss Leo* gave the OK for me to meet Selma at the store this afternoon.
As I walked toward Leo's store I noticed a difference in my feelings. Whenever I stopped at an intersection to wait until I could cross the street safely, the wait seemed to not irritate me like it used to. Indeed, I was feeling a lot more serene than I had before. Was this from the castration? I had read in the alt.eunuchs.questions newsgroup that the half-life of testosterone was five days, so my hormone levels must be about 40% lower. I had not masturbated at all since my castration, yet my male sex drive was not returning. Oh, I knew I would feel so much better without testosterone, now it's actually happening!
Selma and I had quite a good visit. We had to stop talking about ourselves whenever a client walked in, and then we would resume our conversation whenever the client left and we had the store to ourselves again. Selma figured out that I was shy, and I had noticed the same in her. It seems that all of us girls are timid, probably because of our life experiences before dealing with our gender issues. In addition we had Selma's gay boss Leo and another open-minded young man who was their friend. We really had a friendly meeting and a lot of interesting discussion.
Selma was on hormones and full time, but she could not afford her SRS and was considering orchiectomy, and wanted to know so much about my experience with Spector and the aftereffects of what I had done. I had been looking on the internet to find others who had the feelings that I did, to look for information and support, but only four days after I started dealing with my gender I was already able to help and support one of my sisters. Selma had many questions about my castration, and I wasn't able to answer all of them because four days is very early to testify about the effects. We kept in touch by E-mail for a while, and I kept her updated about what I was feeling.
In return, Selma had much encouragement for me. Selma thought I was cute, but she understood that I was not comfortable with my male body and that I wished to feminize it. She told me that I would love it when I got on estrogen, that it would feel so good to have breasts and a more feminine body. Selma had a doctor that charged her only $50 a month for her HRT, my goodness, Dr. Spector is expensive. Well I'll never purchase hormones from Spector. A few weeks later Selma asked her doctor if he would also provide HRT for me, but the doctor said that I would have to come back to Philadelphia for that.
Throughout my early adulthood I had read and been told that transsexuals who changed their sex suffered poor health and many complications, did not live long, usually regretted their change, and were mentally messed up. As a result I had tried to suppress my own gender issues, fearing that if I didn't somehow cure myself that I would eventually end up like those transsexuals I had read about. Even when I had first came here earlier this week, I could not see myself having a future as Sherry, I thought OK I'll get castrated and get rid of the male hormones, get some electrolysis, maybe a little other feminization, and then live my life as best I could.
Then I had met Dawn, and today I had met Emily, and now Selma. There was no truth in what the Catholic and fundamentalist churches had been telling me at all, these women were living as their true selves and loving it. There was some pain to get through, but then there was a lifetime of happiness. Now I knew that I had many future possibilities and I could be whatever I wanted.
Regretfully it was time to close the store, and then our visit ended. Both Selma and I wished that we had found each other earlier in the week so we could have had more time to meet. I wandered around the downtown some more, and then visited the shops on South Street one more time. I purchased two more new age CDs.
After I packed my suitcases, I saw Dr. Spector one last time. The doctor looked at my surgery site and decided that it would be OK to remove that one last stitch before sending me home. Would that last stitch be more painful than the others? Dr. Spector indicated that it would be, and then OW! Finally that was over with, and I was relieved that I would not have to deal with removing sutures at home.
The doctor drove me back to Vicki's so I could pick up my suitcases and say my goodbyes there. I always feel depressed when leaving relatives on the day I return home, but today I was feeling it worse than I had on any other trip. I was going to miss these people so terribly much. Even today I still maintain occasional E-Mail contact with both Dr. Spector and Vicki and update them on my progress.
Dr. Spector drove me to the airport, and I appreciated him saving me the cab fare, not to mention the scary driving habits of the cab driver. Then we hugged each other goodbye at the airport. Not only did I have the sadness of leaving behind many new friends, but also the dread feeling that from now on I was on my own as far as my recovery was concerned. I could not discuss this with anybody back home, especially not my own mother.
The weather on my flight back west mirrored the flight I had last week. Clouds were moving into Philadelphia as I left, it stayed cloudy over the Appalachia, and then cleared up over Kentucky. I had weathered the storm to accomplish something I so much wanted to do, only to leave the land beyond the storm and return to the life I had been living. But I was returning much better off than I had left. Not only were my testicles gone, but I had also made many new friends I had never known before, and now there were people who knew and accepted me as Sherry. I hope to someday return to Philadelphia to revisit Dr. Spector and all of my other friends, and maybe I would get to meet even more wonderful people.
But for now I felt the sadness of leaving my friends as I connected in Memphis, and then boarded the commuter flight to Fayetteville. Although the weather was clear, the flight turned bumpy over northern Arkansas and the pilot informed us that it would be bumpy for the remainder of the flight. Back in Arkansas I drove to my local Wal-Mart to pick up my first bottle of Caltrate, which I would take for calcium supplements now that I was hypogonadal, and a few other medical supplies for my surgery area.
The depression I experienced as a result of leaving Philadelphia and my newfound friends quickly lifted the very next day as I returned to work. This workday was one of the most hectic I had ever experienced, yet I was stunned by how calm I felt throughout this trying day. Things were going so badly and everyone around me was agitated, but I was not. Only six days after my castration there was no question that this had made a very positive difference in my life.
The surgery area really smelled because I had been advised to keep it dry. I felt that others around me could pick up on this odor. Next Friday, ten days after my castration I was sent to learn a new task, and I had to stand close to the women who were training me, which had me really worried that they would notice that odor coming from my genitals. I decided that enough was enough and I went ahead and washed my genital area in the shower.
My recovery continued to progress, and the discomfort decreased with each passing day. Several weeks later the incision had completely sealed, leaving only a minor scar line where Spector had cut me open.
By then I constantly felt like I was as a feather just floating around. It felt so good to be free from testosterone. I felt even better with each passing week. But my underlying gender issues remained, and I remembered the successful lives of Dawn, Emily, and Selma. Since then I have met more transsexuals and transgendered people, and I am even more convinced that I can attain the future that I have always dreamed of.
I went without any estrogen or any other hormones for more than two years after my castration, but no hormones has been a lot better than the testosterone that I used to have.
I never had hot flashes just like the doctor kept insisting that I would not, but I feel that Dr. Spector exaggerates some of the benefits of castration and estrogens, and I do believe those eunuchs who say that they experienced terrible hot flashes contrary to my own experience. I was simply lucky not to have hot flashes.
While leaving Philadelphia did depress me, I never experienced any depression or regrets from the castration itself.
Age will no doubt force Dr. Spector into retirement in not too many more years, and I can only hope that a new doctor will take his place in providing castration without hassle to those who truly desire it, and even improve on the procedure. Not only are there transgendered people, but there are men who would truly be happier if castrated to relieve strong libidos and for other causes, and we will always need a doctor that will competently perform this service to those who would benefit from it.
Castration made me feel so much better, took away a male libido that contradicted my sense of self, and made me feel more calm all of the time. I remain very happy that I went through with my castration, but it was merely my first step in finding peace with myself.
Two years and seven months after my orchiectomy, I finally commenced my estrogen reassignment therapy. I have since completed my facial electrolysis, and I made my legal and social transition at the end of 2002. In 2003 I moved out of Arkansas and began a new life where almost nobody knows about my past. I am now saving funds to obtain SRS, hopefully in the year 2006. Orchiectomy was merely my first step in obtaining the life I was meant to have.
*Dawn, Emily, Leo, Selma, Vicki, and Ms. Thomas are fictitious names that I used to protect the identities of the real people that I met during this special time in my life.