July 12th, 2017
Remember back in 2015 when Ashley put in a two-years-out down payment for bottom surgery with Dr. Bowers? Well, that two years later is now now, and Ashley has just gone through gender-confirmation surgery with Dr. Bowers, and she and Jay talk through its ups and downs.
Ashley thinks back to her facial-feminization surgery in 2014, and she recalls letting her parents know about that upcoming surgery and their reaction at the time of near indifference. In contrast, a few months ago when Ashley let her parents know about her gender-confirmation surgery, they seemed much more receptive — although they weren’t quite fully enthusiastic either. But in a moment that surprised Ashley, her mom offered that she’d be open to coming with Ashley for surgery if she didn’t already have someone to go with her.
Fortunately, Ashley did have someone to go with her. Dinah, one of Ashley’s longtime friends, generously offered that Ashley could stay at her apartment in San Francisco during her recovery, and Ashley quite happily took her up on it. Ashley knew that she’d be stuck in the hospital for a few days after her surgery, and she was super grateful to be able to stay spend her post-hospital time hanging out with Dinah and her boyfriend Joe in their comfy apartment rather than being cooped up in a hotel room.
Jay and Ashley talk through the surgery itself along with the pre-surgery gantlet of the bowel-prep that Ashley had to go through. In the process of chatting about the gallon of liquid that Ashley had to guzzle, Jay and Ashley get to thinking that barium might have been one of its ingredients, but having checked on that later, it would seem that magnesium citrate might be the more likely active ingredient.
As for the surgery itself, Ashley made it through swimmingly. Ashley was on bedrest for the first two days after her surgery, but having brought along her iPhone, her iPad, and a few comic books to the hospital, Ashley didn’t struggle to stave off boredom. She wasn’t in too much pain during her stay at the hospital, though her regular doses of Percocet probably helped with that. On top of that, a number of Ashley’s friends from the Bay Area — including Carla, Jeff, Matt, and Julie — visited her in the hospital, which did wonders to lift her spirits.
Three days after her surgery, Ashley was cleared to leave the hospital. At that point, she was still tethered to a catheter bag, which she had to drag around with her until her follow-up appointment, which was a few days later. And at that point, her vagina was full of post-surgery packing as well. So while Ashley relished being able to hang out at Dinah’s cozy apartment, the first few days of her post-hospital recovery still had some tough moments.
At the post-surgery checkup at Dr. Bowers’ office, they took out the packing from Ashley’s vagina, which felt to her a bit like the magician’s trick where they pull a seemingly endless stream of handkerchiefs out of their fist. And then after that, they taught Ashley how to dilate, which is a process of inserting medical-grade dildos into one’s new vagina to prevent it from healing shut. Ashley grouses to Jay about the tedium of dilating, but she also concedes that she’d much rather go through the monotony of dilating her new vagina than to not have one at all. Still, Ashley is looking forward to the coming months when she’ll be able to pare down her dilating schedule from three times a day to two times a day (and eventually being able to pare it down even more).
From there, Ashley shares some keen makeup jobbies that she has come across. First up is Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid, which makes use of the principles of the color wheel to cancel out skin tones that one might be looking to minimize. Ashley also goes over her recent find of a new concealer, MAC’s Matchmaster Concealer. She finds its lipstick-like consistency rather convenient because it hardly requires much blending after it’s applied — unlike many liquid concealers that she’s tried.
Ashley feels like she’s over the hump in her recovery, and she’s able to get through most of her day-to-day activities without too much trouble. Her life isn’t quite back to normal just yet, but she finds that each day is a little bit better than the day before. And while it may have taken close to forty years, Ashley finally feels comfortable with what she sees in the mirror.
(Ashley’s polish in this episode is D’Lilac. We aren’t being paid to say this — just thought maybe you’d like to know.)
June 2nd, 2014
Ashley gives Jay all the details about her recent trip to Argentina for her FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) with Dr. Di Maggio, and the amazing help she got from her friend Andrea (on Twitter @ButtermilkPecan) while recovering and getting settled in a strange city.
Like any surgery, it wasn’t a walk in the park, but Ashley was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t much pain, and she had no complaints about her relatively smooth recovery, which Ashley credits to her doctor’s delicate approach.
Ashley introduces Jay to Solar Oil from CND, a brush-on nail conditioner that — although she’s only been using it for about a week so far — seems to be helping to keep Ashley’s cuticles happy.
Not wanting to make a big mess in her luggage with lotion that comes in a pump, Ashley found Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion, which has plenty of moisturizing but doesn’t leave a greasy feel behind.
(Ashley’s nail polish in this episode is It’s Up to Blue from Orly. We aren’t being paid to say this — just thought you’d like to know.)
October 5th, 2011
Ashley talks with Jay about how she keeps her boobs under wraps at work and why she hasn’t come out to her boss just yet.
Ashley also educates Jay about some potential surgical options including facial feminization surgery (FFS) and sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). And she offers some tips on spacing one’s polish coats to prevent chipping.