Hospitals and Hair

By , May 6, 2010 7:48 pm

Tonight is my last night at the hospital. (Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.) The gallbladder was removed last night, along with the bazillion more gallstones it contained. My parents actually claim the doctor said my gallbladder had 100 more gallstones, which is disgusting if it’s true.

This morning, after lugging myself to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror to see something of a stranger. First, because one of my roommates had put my hair into two braided pigtails last night, before I went into surgery. I’ve been way to lazy to remove ’em, so they’ve stayed the last 24 hours. Second, because the IV fluids, coupled with little food, have given me a simultaneously gaunt and water-bloated look. On top of that, I haven’t really bathed all week, so my color is way off and I’m all blotchy.

Most obnoxious, though, was the little soul-patch beneath my lower lip, a  remnant of my facial hair that the laser removal hasn’t been able extinguish.

My hospital stay has actually been pretty gender-affirming. As usual, my dad has “he”d and “him”d me tons more than any of the hospital staff. My mom or I would usually correct him right after. It’s also the hospital where I was born, so they initially had me in the system with my old name and gender. But the staff very quickly and efficiently changed those on my records and wrist-band, and one staff person actually apologized they had even taken as long as they did. Bonus points, Evanston hospital!

All of my nurses and aides and doctors have similarly used “Ms. Kling” when referring to me, which has amused me to no end. I also had fun when the anesthesiologist asked me if I could be pregnant. “Nope!”

“Oh, you’re on the pill?”

“No – I don’t have a uterus or ovaries.” I probably didn’t need to be so snarky, but I was tired and cranky and he didn’t seem thrown by my response.

So I’m more than a little bummed that I looked into the mirror this morning to find such a stark reminder of my transition. My arms and legs have  slowly regrown their hair this week during my hospital stay, but enough has been removed via laser that what does regrow doesn’t gender me in the same was as I think my facial hair does. And I know it’s not tons of hair, and lots of women do have a patch or two of facial hair. But it still wasn’t what I wanted to see when I already feel so icky and sick.

On the up side, I should be leaving tomorrow. And I’ll just need to schedule an appointment to get that last little bit of facial hair zapped, once and for all.

One Response to “Hospitals and Hair”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    So glad all went well and you’re feeling better. And try not to let a little bit of hair get you down; it all takes time 🙂

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