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GCS Tip Time: All the blush that is unfit to print

I share a lot. Maybe too much. Okay, maybe not maybe. Anyways, I do share a lot, especially on my local Discord server, all the things I have been learning about my aftercare. Some of it is, well, rather earthy.

A couple of years ago, fairly early in my transition and HRT journey, I commented to my sister that nobody told me that growing breasts hurt. To which she said, "nobody told me either!" That's a cycle I would love to break. So, if you didn't know this about growing boobs, now you do!

However, I just wanted to illustrate the reluctance we often have to talk about our bodies, how they work, and more. Yet, it's pretty darn important to know this stuff and, in some cases, it can help those transitional periods be easier. It's one of the reasons I am currently reading The Vagina Bible by Dr. Jen Gunter. I have the body part, or at least the part I can have, now and I really want to be sure that I knew about it. Spoiler alert: it's a great book and while not all parts apply, much does. Worth the money.

So, in light of all that, here's some more of the blush that has historically been unfit to print.

Right now, I am just past 3 months in to my post-GCS rehabilitation routine. This is basically a process of dilations, followed by douching, and then drying out. Total time varies per session, but it's a good 1.5 to 2 hours each. In the first month, my clinic wanted me to 4 times a day, with 5 minutes using the 1-3/8" dialator and 25 minutes with the 1-1/2" dialator. This was followed by douching and either a shower or sitz bath. The volume drops to three times daily at month 2 and to twice daily at month 4. Eventually, after 6 months, we're down to daily for another 6 months.

Yeah, it's a lot. Especially in the first month because you're pretty much alone and isolated for 8 hours a day, with little time between. It gets better after that and, eventually, when down to twice daily, you at least get the heart of the day back. Be prepared for this, it's draining and disheartening at first. It gets better and the euphoria takes over as you go, but forewarned is forearmed.

I'll be honest, at first I thought I would watch a lot of TV and do a lot of reading. I didn't. I just found that it was hard to summon the mental energy initially. All my intentions were there, but I didn't have the focus for it. Something to consider.

Now, a few months in, a couple of things are really worth knowing about: muscle stiffness and douching.

So, on the muscle stiffness front, a few weeks ago I started to find it harder to dilate. It's been taking more effort and breathing to insert, but it's not been painful, just hard. Turns out that it's an expected stage of healing with the muscles and that you're now engaged in a slightly different kind of training. Well, that's something I would have liked to have known! Anyways, it does get easier as you work on it, but a lot of what I encountered says focus on depth, so if you need to step down the dilator diameter, do so for a bit. Listen to your body!

Speaking of listening to your body, I was getting concerned that I wasn't draining properly from vaginal douching. I was basically in a constant state of leakage and, I have to be honest, getting really annoyed at needing to always have panty liners on. So, it turns out, the clinics are all over the map, ranging from "we don't really recommend douching, but..." to "you need to do it after every dilation" and everything in between. This is all for the same basic surgical technique and I am seriously puzzled as to why every clinic seems to be different, including even what to douch with! Mine, to be honest, seems very conservative on this stuff.

Anyways, what got me researching that was that leakage. So, recently I decided to minimize the douching to see how I was feeling. The first day, after the last evening douche, I did a fairly long walk home after a morning without dialating. After I got home, I sat down to pee and, before I could, a couple of tablespoons of liquid poured out of my vaginal canal. This can't be good! 

So, our vaginas are a bit different in terms of the lining if using the more common surgical technique. Because it's an inversion technique, the lining is mostly skin and so has different properties as a result. This does have to be cleaned, from time to time, but it's not like you always need to be douching. The general sense I get is once or twice a week is really sufficient once you have past the post-surgical healing phase.

That's what I have at the moment. It's a little TMI for some, I am sure, but I keep getting feedback from my local trans community that they want and need this info, so sharing more widely. I hope it helps!

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