Friday, June 7, 2019

Orchiectomy - Hello Pain!!

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.  On a level of 1 to 10, can you describe the pain you are in?  1 is no pain at all and a 10 is the worst pain you have ever felt.  Where would I describe this pain?  Oh, in the 9-10 range.  I don't really think I have ever felt any pain like this before.  However, when I was asked this question yesterday in the hospital, I said, oh I don't know maybe a 5 or 6.  Why did I say that?  Well, I read once that doctors always hear people say that they are experiencing a level 11.  Thus doctors become desensitized to patients thoughts on pain.  I figured that the uncontrollable crying that happened when they asked me to sit up and get off of the gurney was some pretty solid evidence of the amount of pain that I was in. 

But, hey, I'm clearly ahead of myself aren't I?  Uhh.... just a little.  Okay then, let's back up.  I first considered getting an orchi awhile back.  I'm not sure when it first occurred to me, but I do not what precipitated it.  That was difficulties in getting my spironolactone, spiro for short.  Spiro is used to prevent the body from using the testosterone it produces.  When you are assigned male at birth but are actually a woman, generally you get placed onto two medications when you begin hormone therapy.  Spiro to block the testosterone and estrogen to give you what you should be getting. 

Anywho..... I, like most US citizens, tend to use CVS pharmacies to get my prescriptions filled.  Several times over the last two years I have encountered difficulties in getting my scrip for spiro filled.  One particular time the pharmacy I use told me that they would be unable to fill my scrip; they informed me that they were out of that medication.  They offered me nothing and gave me no assistance in finding a place to fill the scrip.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a totally anti-transgender move by the pharmacy.  I kind of got a clue when I tried phoning several different locations and none of them would fill my scrip.  I finally just drove across town to a different CVS, and spoke with that pharmacist.  He said, that yeah, they were indeed out of that medication but there were at least 3 or 4 other manufacturers of that type of medication that they could easily use to fill that scrip.  I walked out 5 minutes later with the scrip in hand. 

The thing was though, I totally panicked when I was struggling to get my scrip filled.  It was around then that I realized what a horrible feeling it was that other people were now in charge of my body.  They had the power to determine whether or not I would be on testosterone or not.  That really pissed me off, horribly so! 

It was around then as well that I started noticing the effects that spiro was having on my body.  Yes spiro stops the body from being able to utilize testosterone, but it also can increase the potassium in your body to dangerous levels, thus requiring frequent blood work to be examined.  It also lowers your blood pressure which increases the amount of being light headed and dizzy upon standing.  The other lovely thing is that it is a diuretic which means that I was constantly feeling dehydrated.  I would drink liquid all day but by the end of the day my skin was super dry and flaky and my lips were constantly peeling.  I would wake up every morning with such a super dry pasty mouth that it was painful. 

So, uh, yeah, there you go, oh and let's also throw in that the longer I am in therapy, the longer I am on hormone therapy, the more I am understanding my reality, I'm actually a girl.  And do you know what most girls don't have?  Testicles!  Yup, not so much!  Thus it was, I found a doctor who was willing to accept my cash, as my insurance will not cover such things.  Even though in the long run, it will save my insurance plan money.  How so?  They are paying for my spiro.  If I didn't get the orchi, I would be on spiro for the rest of my life, with my insurance paying for it for ever.  But if they would be willing to pay for the orchi, then no more spiro!  And yes it would have saved them money.  But no, they wouldn't pay. 

Okay, so whatevs..... I found a doctor in Philadelphia that I could afford and specializes in working with trans patients.  Thus it was I arrived in Philly earlier this week, and on Thursday I got my orchi.  The thing that shocked me the most was how much pain I was in when I woke from surgery.  I was not anticipating that.  I thought that I would be numb, but nope, I wasn't.  I was in pain.  And that sucked.  I spent the next hour or so crying trying to come to grips with the amount of discomfort I was in.  I got some food in me, and some soda, and some percocet.  That made it so I didn't care so much about the pain, but I still felt it. 

My doctor had picked me up in the morning, and took my wife and I to the hospital.  Once I was able, he drove us back to the hotel, and that is where I have been since.  I know that I will make it through this, and that it is the best thing for me, but for now, it just plain sucks.  I wish I was home.  I wish I could have had this procedure done at my local hospital and that right now I was recovering at my house, with my own things, and able to stay in my own bed.  Easily half of my discomfort right now is that I am staying in a hotel.  That sucks. 

This is but one of the dehumanizing things some of us trans people have to endure to be able to be who we are.  Kinda sucks.  Kinda really sucks actually.  Well for right now it does at least.  I know I will make it through, and I know I will be happier.  I just wish it was right now.

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Don't love pain so much. 


  1. OMG! I can only imagine the pain - especially now that I have to go in for a large cyst removal in the same area in the not-so-distant future... I wish you a speedy recovery. I also hate having to depend on the whims of supply/demand and whatever else for the essential medications that one requires on a daily basis. I absolutely detest the feeling - it makes me feel like an addict of a different sort. :-( Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery! Hugs, Tanit.

  2. Charlene PetersonJune 8, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Good morning Nadine. I sure hope you are feeling s little better today. Hope you can travel soon as I can’t even imagine what it would be like to recover in a hotel room. Best wishes and I am looking forward to a future post when your smile will let us know that all is good.
    XOXO Charlene

    1. Thanks Charlene! I am feeling far better today!

  3. Nadine, assuming you're home by now - how are you feeling? Hopefully well on the road to recovery by now. Hugs, Tanit

    1. Nope, not home yet. I'm currently still in Philly, where I had the surgery. We are leaving today, but not heading home for a bit. Now it's time for some fun!

  4. Nadine:

    You are a remarkable woman. I am so glad you are feeling well enough to travel.

  5. My orchi hardly went smoothly either and I was back with a scary bleed! Once it was healed up it was life changing and I hope you soon feel the same way.

  6. I have thought about an orchiectomy, but I am not sure my wife would be okay with it. I will put this gently, do things still work downstairs after surgery (erection and orgasm)?

    1. Prior to changing my hormones people told me that my penis would stop functioning. (A doctor once said to me, okay you have a penis, but does it function? Ever since then, the joke phrase between my wife and I is, functioning penis, and what exactly does that mean?? The dr's implication was clearly that a functioning penis is one that gets erect.)

      My penis did not stop functioning after I changed my hormones. But people continued to tell me that it would stop functioning as soon as I __________'d. Uhhhh, nope. Mine has not stopped functioning.

      It for sure functions differently then it once did, and there can be a learning curve in getting it to function. But it still for sure functions enough to function.