A couple people have asked me what all the surgeries and stuff I've been having were, and I wrote a summary somewhere else anyway, so I thought I'd post it here.
So... I got GRS in June of 2014... after which I discovered that a complication had occured: a rectovaginal fistula, or a communication between the new vagina and the rectum
Which... yeah meant incontinence and flatulance through my new hardware
The surgeon was absolutely awful about aftercare and there's a good chance it was his fault that it got as bad as it did because he told me to continue dilating the vagina (dilating = sticking a thing up it to make the opening bigger and ultimately keep it that size)
After a year I finally gave up on the surgeon and starting seeing some docs in Seattle and finally met with some UW surgeons... a lady who does vaginal reconstructions for cancer victims, a colorectal surgeon, and a plastic surgeon.
Together we devised a plan to fix it: first a temporary ileostomy put in place. An ileostomy is basically where they take the end of your small intestines and stick it out your belly and output goes into a bag. I had that procedure two years ago and let me tell you living with one is not easy and does a number on body image
The next step was the actual repair of the fistula, and a possible augmentation of the vagina, which I had about a year and change ago. All three surgeons were there for the procedure. I get the feeling not many people get a surgery done by a team of three surgeons, os that's an interesting feeling. Aside from being possibly more painful than GRS, the procedure seemed to go ok, but to fully test it we would need to do an enema test with a contrast fluid.
Unfortunately, after four months of near-constant rectal pain after the surgery, I was still not ready, and had to take a leave of absence from work and go to physical therapy and just recover from a mental health standpoint, which at that point had gotten very very bad.
About a month ago I was finally able to get the test (hurt like HELL), and now my final surgery tomorrow is takedown of the ileostomy. Today I have to fast and do a bowel cleanse ugh :/
The whole past three years have been extremely painful and difficult for me, but yeah it's finally almost over. I feel like after going through this I can probably get through anything lol :P.