Phoenix Surgery Trip #1

In May 2017 we went down to Phoenix Arizona for the hubby’s first portion of his bottom surgery. he did really well and I am very proud of him and who he has become. So this is many of those photos/videos that we took down there.

 

Dream: Jail and the Jello

This was a slightly more unusual dream for me. I don’t normally dream about jail or prison, at least not since I am adult and my dad stopped going to jail.

It started with both the hubby and I in jail. It seemed like somewhere in Arizona, we were both arrested and behind bars. It didn’t seem that people knew we were married. The charges weren’t super bad, but it wasn’t just some overnight stay because of a rough night either.

We spent most of the time talking about whether or not they would ever catch the hubby’s trans status. I was fairly sure that would never be detected. He was post surgery like now and there was no reason for them to notice anything.

He did appear slightly more androgynous than he does in reality. He was more slender (without breasts or hips, just smaller like he was when he was very sick). He also appeared like he was wearing eyeliner when he wasn’t. I suspect that is my memory from pre-transition where he wore eyeliner most of the time. He was also covered in a lot more tattoos then he is now (and he has a lot now).

We were talking about what we were going to do when we got out, and he wanted to go down to meet up with some people so we could make some money. Evidently we did a lot of illegal activities (thinking more like Shadowrun cool type things, and not reality banal/stupid shit). It caught me off guard in the dream, since in full disclosure it was the hubby who kept me from following family friends into an MC (also from joining the Army, but that is a separate story).

The rest of the dream is fading now, I just remember being worried about him being discovered though, since we were going to be stuck in jail for more than a few days. We wandered around the jail (more like a prison set up), just chatting. The biggest memory, how much I loved his eyes. Not in a serial killer can I keep them in a jar way, rather in a “I love to look into his eyes” kind of way. I was then awaken by a cat smacking me in the face.

I think overall it is just my post-surgery anxiety. I also suspect the location of an Arizona jail is directly because of being stuck in an Arizona hotel room for 9 days.

Surgery Trip: Final Day

Well the final day of the surgery came and went. It started out hopeful, the hubby woke up feeling pretty good, the swelling was down, our hopes were up and life was good.

The pool looked beautiful, too bad it was too hot to use it this week.
It was almost 95 degrees when we left at 9:30am

 

The checkout went smooth, took a final couple of pictures and then we went to Dr. Meltzer’s for our final appointment with him and Dr. Ley. It went very well, both doctors thought the hubby was looking very good for the time in healing he had. It was about now that being up and moving for the first time in almost a week, he was feeling sort of rough.

so very tired, and sore.

Once he was given the full approval by both doctors we headed to what would be the trial for the day, our flight home. We arrived almost three hours early just in case. In that time we encountered the following issues that started by dropping the car off at Alamo. It seemed to take forever, then it was a long ass walk for the husband over to the bus, then to the terminal. Especially with his need to utilize the restroom frequently due to spasms from the surgery, and his first time walking in a week it was so rough for him, I felt really bad.

that car rental building is huge

Once we arrived at security things just went downhill from there. We got pulled over for TSA inspection. We forgot in the journey to the empty his water bottle, and of course the couple in front of us threw a fit and because of that fit, they got hauled to the side and inspected by the officers. The TSA agent behind the scanner then seemed to pick out the next three groups in retaliation, which included us and two people in wheel chairs. All of us got scanned, and thats where the TSA agent found our water bottle and we had to throw it away. It wasn’t a big deal, but we lost a nice $14 water bottle because of that dick.

There was a lot of waiting, so caffeine was in order.

We then arrived at the gate and waited almost two hours, to find out our flight got moved to a different gate. When they landed they couldn’t board because they had to wait for maintenance to refill an O2 canister for a medkit. AN HOUR LATER they announced we would be almost 90 minutes late boarding. I don’t blame the pilot/crew, they were arguing with maintenance over getting it done quick enough, but damn it sucked.

This was how we felt for that time.

Once we got on to the plane (over 90 minutes late) we settled into a super hot plane that had been sitting on the tarmac in 107 degree heat. Evidently the battery used to power the AC when the plane was powered down was missing, so there was no AC when we got on board. Poor hubby was suffering really bad, all of this, plus the exertion had hit him hard, also his pain meds had worn off.

Yes, we stared at this plane for over 90 minutes so they could figure out how to fill an O2 canister right.
Stuck in a hot plane, for another 20 minutes.
Just starting to move along the runway.

We flew back to Seattle, with W and I watching Cuthroat Island on his iPad. It was a great distraction, and nice to bond with the hubby even when everyone else was around us. We landed after having a semi-decent cold dinner.

Arriving in Seattle, how we have missed those trees.
upon takeoff we did get to see downtown Phoenix.

Once we landed, we immediately found a cab available (Lyft had too long of a wait, and I won’t give a dime to Uber). The cab took us home, but it also didn’t have AC on and we almost died in that car from heat stroke (ok, that may be hyperbole, but you will never get me to admit it).

Once we got home, we had to spend about 30 minutes with the cat, he thought we had abandoned him. He hadn’t gone without both of us for that long ever. However, he was quick to fall back in love with us. While W bonded with the cat, I went and got us some Panda Express, because dear god I am not cooking when it was almost 8pm and we were exhausted.

Someone missed us.
Didn’t take long to get better.
Then it was a journey of food.

We ended up the night in our bed for the first time in 9 days. It was glorious, although the trip itself was definitely worth it as well. Also, the hubby and the cat spent some important time together.

The hubby and cat are one.

How does Phoenix rank for LGBTQA Experience?

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I have to admit it, right now my experiences in other cities dealing with the LGBTQA thing hasn’t been super good. Philadelphia was good, Denver kind of sucked, Atlanta really sucked, so coming to Phoenix I was pretty sure it would be the same.

It wasn’t, overall it was a good experience, barring one funny negative experience that really wasn’t negative.

Our arrival in Phoenix was marked by a rare homophobic event. We were in line at Alamo Car Rental, and ahead of us we watched a couple get harassed by an Alamo agent. He was pushing the “walk away” insurance, and all the extra things. He was pushing it hard enough that it made the rest of the line nervous.

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It was our turn, as we stepped up I braced for the selling pitch. He began a long spiel of why we needed the walk away insurance, that Arizona law lets them claim for lost days if the car was damaged, etc etc. It was then my wonderful husband spoke up and asked me a question, but used the term “sweetie” for me.

The guy froze, his head went back and forth between us, and without any further mention he has me sign off the contract and we walk away without him saying a word. So while it sucked he obviously had a problem that two guys were together, it worked in our favor and the spiel stopped.

i-hate-the-word-homophobia

Our next encounter was at the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Once again most of the staff were older people, so we were prepared to get a hard time. When our tour guide Judith arrived to give the tour, my fears blossomed. She was an older, conservative appearing woman.

However, she realized fairly soon into the tour (followed by a second tour for a different subject) that the hubby and I were together. Instead of any homophobia, she just talked to us even more. She seemed overjoyed that we liked listening to the tour, and wanted to know the history. It was definitely a great experience, and Judith is a great lady.

Dr. Meltzer’s office of course is super accepting, so we don’t need to go into that, but the Greenbaum surgical center was an unknown. However we arrived there and ALL of the staff were great, accepting of me arriving at any time day or not to visit the hubby. At no point did I not feel welcomed. It was impressive.

The rest of the time there was spent mostly in the hotel room, so the only other people we really saw were the hotel staff and they didn’t blink an eye at us. I don’t know if they were ok with us, but they kept their professional cool if they did.

That means Phoenix ranks a close second behind Philadelphia in my experience in accepting LGBTQA. I am not addressing the governmental/legal standpoint of transgender people here, just my experience with individuals

Of course I am posting this Sunday, a day early from our trip ending, hopefully that won’t change in the next day.

Surgery Trip: Day 6, 7 and 8

I am posting this as a combined post for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is because all we are doing is huddling in the hotel room, hubby is sleeping a lot and we are just waiting for the healing.

I did end up going out to get him food in the 105 degree heat, yes that is how much I love him :).

So all I really have are a few pictures to share.

Friday Morning, someone is sleeping.
Panera bread, so different looking, still so tasty.
More Panera
Friday night was rough for ghost
Saturday quest for food for hubby.
the heat sucked
Saturday night is still not good for Ghost.
Sunday morning

There we go, that was the boring three days. More to come

Surgery Trip: Day 5

Day 5 was relegated to just a few things due to the hubby getting out of the surgical center.

I woke up fairly early and was tired but happy. I was excited to bring him back with me today. I wasn’t up very long before the hubby was chatting at me on iMessage. We both have been missing each other so I wanted to get into the hospital early to talk and hang with him until he checked out.

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I found the hotel pretty this morning, but I couldn’t tell you what color that is. So here is a color photo for you!

On my way to the surgical center I decided I wanted to try a local coffee shop, I asked Wolsey if he wanted some and he said no. It looked a lot like a coffee shop in Seattle. The name was Echo Coffee, and while I won’t say it “wowed” me with the coffee, it was acceptable (if not quite hot enough).

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God I am a coffee snob.

When I got to the surgical center I found the hubby gossiping to the nurse. He was telling the nurse about the incident that occurred in Philadelphia, between me and a “barista”. It wasn’t bad, but it was pretty funny.

When I was in Philadelphia for work training,  I went to this small bodega (really small) that sold coffee. I asked for a large cup of black coffee and they handed it to me. I took a sip, and before I could even think about it I had said “NOPE!” and in one motion handed it back to the cashier. It had to have been on the burner for hours.

It was a horrible burnt coffee. I feel I wasn’t being picky, it was just foul. The cashier seemed confused on why I didn’t like the coffee. Before I could say a word, one of the other people in my training in Philadelphia said without prompting, “Oh he is from Seattle” as if that was all that was needed.

The weird thing is the cashier gave me my money back, apologized and when I came in later that morning had fresh coffee. I still felt bad I had said nope and handed it back to them before I had even consciously registered it.

I met with the hubby and he was in his normal good spirits again.

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When I say good spirits, that means in his mode of “fuck you for taking a picture” look 🙂

The rest of the day consisted of me going back home, because they weren’t ready to release him, then coming back to the hospital and talking to the doc. He was less interested in talking about the hubby’s surgery and more about bicycling in Phoenix 105 degree weather. That is a good sign that the hubby is doing great.

We eventually got checked out of the surgical center, grabbed some fast food and the hubby waddled into the room and crawled in bed. I eventually ended up joining him, and for the first time in a very long 56 hours, I got to lay beside the most important person in the world.

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Yep, that is him on the left, me on the right. I am just happy to be there.

The rest of the day and evening consisted of hanging around the room. The next few days will probably not have much happen as he lays down and heals.

I am so damn happy to have him back. I don’t think I could explain enough.

Surgery Trip: Day 4

Day 4 has come and gone and it was less exciting then other days.

The morning started out bright, sunny and warm. I believe it was 79 degrees when I went to visit the hubby in the morning around 6am. I know it was pretty, and I can tell there should be color there, but unfortunately for me it is pretty grey. However, for your enjoyment the photo is color.

At 79 degrees, too damn warm at 6am.

Today was fantastic. The hubby was rested up a bit more, he was feeling pretty good and was more talkative. He still occasionally drifted off, but we spent a lot of time on and off. I ended up going over I think it was four times. I would stay for an hour or two, come back to the hotel room. I would have stayed longer but I think I was having heat issues, it is too damn hot.

He was in pretty good spirits, must still be sick 😉

I went and picked up some lunch/dinner between third and fourth visit. Wolsey had mentioned people don’t buy ice cream and go home with it when they eat out, that it melts too soon. I will be honest, I thought that was bullshit, so I went and ordered two cheeseburgers and a small shake from McDonalds. I was in an air conditioned car (that was chilly), went through drive through and went straight home. The shake was in good shape when I stopped at the hotel. I got out and walked about 40 feet to the door to inside the hotel, then another 100 feet, I  got back to the hotel room and it was completely melted. I had been proven wrong, and hubby was completely right.

Torie did feed Ghost tonight as well, she sent a picture, evidently tonight was not as good. We have five more nights to go, but he will be ok, probably just a little feral. I am grateful that Torie is doing this, he would have been so much worse in a kennel.

So damn fragile.

I collapsed in bed and napped a little. Then went back and visited him for the final time. I got back and was anxious that he wasn’t there so I did some Order of Battle let’s play (military strategy game). I then crawled in bed and was completely exhausted.

Oh, and I was awoken by HBO playing Crimson Peaks, and one of the spirits was screaming, ya that wasn’t fun.

Surgery Trip: Day 3

Today is S-Day, Surgery Day. Wolsey and I didn’t sleep much at all overnight, between his surgery prep and general anxiety we both were a bit on edge. Oh, did I forget to mention that at 1am our fire alarm began beeping, signaling it was out of battery. Fortunately Wolsey took the lead and fixed it by taking the alarm down (after contacting the desk).

We were up at 0415 and nope, we weren’t feeling any better than 1am. We gathered our clothes together, got dressed and headed out to Greenbaum Surgery Center at 0500. It was completely empty outside. If this was Seattle the roads would already be busy, but everything was empty.

He is not happy this morning.
On our way to surgery.

We arrived to the dark surgery center and sat there watching conservative local news for about 20 minutes. It was then that Wolsey checked in, signed off the paperwork and got ready for surgery. I have to say the receptionist was absolutely the most supportive receptionist I have seen. It was very reassuring.

waiting in the dark.
Checking in to surgery.

We sat for awhile, watching horrible news, surfing the net, until they came out and asked Wolsey back. He disappeared for about 30 minutes when they came out and got me to come back. I sat with him for awhile, got to see Dr. Webb, and Wolsey’s anesthesiologist (sorry I don’t remember his name). Finally I got to meet Wolsey’s nurse, a great older man who was joking about his husband (I believe his name was Jeff).

There he is waiting for surgery.

I left, went home and ate breakfast. Eventually I was heading out to go see a movie at 10am when I got a call from Jeff saying Wolsey had successfully made it through the hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy with no problems at all. All that was left was medioplasty. This meant he might be out before the movie was over, so instead I swung by Arizona Territory, a souvenir store and picked him up an Arizona souvenir spoon and an Arizona Ranger badge.

It was hours of waiting for him to get out of surgery. Eventually I got a call that he was out and in recovery. Instead of going directly there (well I went there and found he couldn’t have visitors) I went and had a nice lunch at the local Denny’s. I haven’t been in a Denny’s in years, and the last two times sucked, but this was like the Denny’s from my teen years and was worth it.

I finally got back to the hospital and he was in his room. He was incredibly smiley, still drugged but happy to see me. He was in great shape and between falling asleep he would chat with me. After about an hour and a half I left him so he could fully sleep. I went back to the hotel and laid in bed waiting to fall asleep, I would go into see him as soon as I was up and moving. Damn even one night away from him is hard, tomorrow night will be twice as hard.

Hubby and his signature hand move.

Oh, and Ghost had eaten his food yesterday so when our friend came over she found him again not too keen on her being there. I feel bad for him.

Such a fragile creature

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Surgery Trip: Day 2

The first full day in Scottsdale and I woke up and wandered around outside. It was a chilly 78 degrees (sarcasm) but a beautiful sunrise.

I can’t see any different sunrise colors, just a pale yellow for me, but I figure I will leave it color for those non-colorblind people.

There are a lot of businesses around our hotel. The Lo-Lo’s I talked about yesterday, a Denny’s, a horrible Albertson’s that didn’t have anything we needed and an old school Safeway. The most unique thing I forget is in other states is the over advertisement for guns. Especially when they offer to sell you guns, and give you loans in the same place. Seems weird to be desperate enough to need to get a loan, but hey, while you are here go ahead and buy a gun. I realize this is in Seattle area as well, but not nearly as common.

Guns and loans (especially title loans) somehow not making me feel safe.

We then went to the hubby’s pre-op appointment and spoke with Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley. It was great to see them again. The Doctors both checked the hubby and everything was good to go. We then got to meet Dr. Webb, the OBGYN that will be doing the hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy. I was amused by Dr. Webb, he seems pretty laid back. Overall seeing all three doctors really reassured me.

He is so thrilled, and I am excited for him.

We didn’t do much the rest of the day. We went back to the hotel room, napped a bit and waited for the hubby to start his prep for surgery. While we were there, our friend Torie was kind enough to go feed Ghost (our cat). Here he is waiting in the hubby’s computer chair, disappointed we haven’t come home.

He is fragile, this is actually pretty brave of him.

Finally at 5pm it was time for the hubby to start his preparation for the surgery, it involved a very uncomfortable drink and a long night. Here he is looking anxious about the process,

That was it for the second day. Tomorrow he goes into surgery, and things will progress. I am both excited and terrified for him. I also love him more than anything in this universe.

 

Surgery Trip: Day 1

Our first day of surgery was fairly exciting and long both at the same time.

We arrived at the airport at 5:00am. Surprisingly both the hubby and I were both fairly good mood. We were pretty excited because this is the first time we had ever flown first class (was done because he doesn’t need to be in coach when he flies back post surgery). The airport security line was short and we were in and getting our coffee before we knew it.

We sat and waited for the plane, and when it arrived we found out it was an Embaer 175. I have never flown a non-Boeing plane before so it was a new thing for me. It turns out the plane itself is some sort of commuter type plane, about half the size of a 747. Even so when we sat down in first class it was pretty good. The seats were bigger than I had sat in, and it was the first time I could sit by the window (my legs are too long and shoulders too wide to fit in coach that way).

Way more leg room.

We were amazed at the difference of treatment between First class and coach. I am not used to an attendant focused on us. She talked with us regularly (enough so I was uncomfortable), and kept asking if she could get us stuff (also enough to make me uncomfortable). She did seems slightly annoyed we didn’t have our food trays out, until she realized we had never sat in first class before and then she was happy to tell us how to do it.

We got off the plane and went over to the Alamo rental car kiosk. We sat in line for awhile and listened to the sales rep try to talk this family in front of us into extra insurance, satellite, etc. Seriously made me cringe because it was excessive and long winded. I did not look forward to dealing with it.

When we got in, he started in on the same diatribe. Telling us how Arizona is a pay while its out of action state and we need to consider paying the $25 a day walk away insurance. The rough part is we are only paying $45 or so a day as it is, I don’t want to almost double my cost for an extra $250. However, the hubby did something wonderful, when we were talking he referenced me as “sweetie” and the representative immediately looked at us, stopped any excessive sale and barely said a word as we finished up. It is the first time that homophobia worked out for me that I can tell. He just wanted us away.

On our way out, we ended up going to the Papago Park, located in Phoenix. First I need to say it was too damn hot. The dryness I think is better than Atlanta humidity, but I still couldn’t live here. We saw bicyclists (and it was almost 100 degrees) and I was in awe. So the hubby and I wandered around for about 15 minutes, then we called it good.

Oh and evidently there are “active bees” in the area, what the fuck are active bees?

WTF is an “active bees” area? Is this an AZ thing?

We then went to the Scottsdale Museum of the West, just follow the link for that write up. Although I will say you should go.

After the museum we went to Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles. I have avoided eating chicken and waffles up to this time. I am very glad I relented. I had my first chicken and waffles ever, and it was pretty darn good. Of course I paid for it with indigestion later, but it was definitely worth it.

Best damn chicken and waffles.

The rest of the night we planted ourselves in the hotel room, ran to the grocery store, and watched Shark Tank marathon.