crystal’s rock shop
feel free to have a look around


the pregnancy ~~~
2019

* First laser appointment
* At the drafting table with iris
Initial Consult with Dr Jess Ting
    + Info Packet


learning how to be ~~~
2018

Existing in women-only spaces
Voice therapy lessons with Rachel
* I got bangs and suddenly began to be treated as a woman
* CTMS support group
* In Search of Self-Care
New zone / Court zone
Crosscuntrytour
* PR #47f4b96 Changes ‘chris to crystal’
The last day at Silent Barn
Opening up new relationships 

at first we had no words and no emotions ~~~ 
2017

* Can’t you just meditate on that
* Coming out
* HRT
* espylacopa

the san francisco years
2006-2012


norma carries a girl to be named christina  ~~~
1987
* 0344am

crystal’s rock shop —
what is this website?
a transwoman’s account of transitioning medically at the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine. Surprisingly very little information exists, from a client perspective, on the type of care they provide, so this is a resource for women seeking medical care at this facility. This covers bottom-surgery, laser hair removal, hormone replacement therapy, social work, and therapy.

how does this thing work?
each entry is organized by year so click on anything with an asterisk in front of it and you’ll jump to that story. there’s navigation at the bottom of each entry so you can go to the next entry from that page.

I want to join the club


Mark


Initial Consult with Doctor Jess Ting



02/01/2019
Union Square


 
doctor jess ting is sort of a celebrity doctor mainly because he did jazz jennings’ bottom surgery with marci bowers which you can watch if you subscribe to the jazz show. he’s also written up often in media more famously in a Wired Article. i read up on what one could expect for an initial consult for bottom surgery but i still felt unprepared for my consult with jess. like my initial consult with the lady-doctor, my consult with jess was at 9:00am on a friday the first which is a great way to start my day and weekend and month and year for 2019. i checked in at jess’s front office with a very sweet receiptionist and she handed me a stack of paperwork.

I Need You To Do This Paperwork Make Sure You Sign Everything And Make Sure Everything Is Accurate. okay will do thanks. 

there was a lot of paperwork but it’s normal to go through all the paperwork and was nothing out of the ordinary medical background information. someone probably designed this in microsoft word and got creative with the header.



when i finished all the paperwork and signed everything i handed the stack of paperwork back to the receptionist and paid a $40 co-pay for the office visit and waited for them to call my name. the office is inside the union square hospital and lgbt flags were pasted to the windows of the office and has a comfortable vibe for a doctor’s office because there were no awful overhead lights and no TV blasting like the 7th avenue office. my tendency to talk to other people in the office is always high, espeically because there was a trans older adult in the room and i really like meeting these folks to understand how I’m here so freely pursuing bottom surgery in 2019.
soon enough they called my name and i’m led into the back through a hallway and another hallway to a room and i set my things down and a nurse takes my height and weight. 6 feet. 140. i wondered if it made a difference if my boots were on. two people enter the room after the weight and height measurement and one introduces himself as doctor ting’s surgical assistant and another introduces herself as someone in-training. they go through my stack of paperwork and ask me questions about my medical history. i use my feminine voice here.
these questions are different than standard history questions and they ask me about my bottom dysphoria which is always a hard question to respond to. if i tell them anything other that my dysphoria is overwhelming do they just cancel my surgery right there? i’m never sure how to handle these types of questions in a medical context but i give an honest answer that my relation to my body has distanced especially when it comes to my genitalia. they asked me to rank my dysphoria on A Scale of One to Ten and i said Six. Pretty lame questions but so far we’re standard issue for insurance requirements. They turn the floor over to me.

so what’s the type of bottom surgery that doctor ting will perform?
Dr Ting Performs A Penile Inversion Technique Which Is Similar To A Lot Of The Other Surgical Techniques For Vaginoplasty. The Typical Depth For Your Vagina Will Be About Six To Seven Inches. You Will Have To Dilate To Keep This Depth. Your Vagina Will Self-Lubricate But You Will Still Likely Use Lubrication During Intercourse That Involves Penetration. 

so what are the risks?
Complications Could Take Place During The Surgical Procedure But We Do Our Best To Minimize That. When You’re Healing At The Hospital, You Could Develop A Fistula Which Is A Tunnel That Forms Between Your Colon and Your New Vagina. It’s Rare. But We’ve Seen It Happen Before. Actually, It’s Happened Once Recently. But That Person Was Asking For It. They Had Anal Sex Right After They Got Vaginoplasty. We Don’t Clear People For Intercourse Until Three Months After Your Surgery. ok got it no anal sex after vaginoplasty.
i thought to myself why is he telling me this story it makes me feel like i’m being guilted into acting a certain way.

can you show me photos of the results?
Yeah Dr Ting Will Show You Photos Of His Work.
okay well um i think that’s all i have.
Great So We’ll Need To Take Photos Of You.

in the room was a chair with one of those medical sheets under it and metal platforms for your feet. i think they’re called stirups. next to the stirup chair was a laser machine which i could probably guess is the same room i will get laser hair removal done.

So Here’s A Gown Go Ahead And Change Into It We’ll Be Right Back.
they leave and i start changing and i find myself aroused because i’m some kind of exhibitionist but hundreds of thousands of milligrams of spironolactone saved me from any real embarassment. i always felt that having a penis means that i’m hiding when i’m aroused and developing mechanisms to start/stop the arousal at will and there’s a knock at the door.

okay come in
they enter and i’m standing there in a gown

Can You Sit On That Chair Behind You And Place Your Feet In The Stirups? 
he operates the chair and i’m tilting backwards and he moves in front of me.
Can You Please Spread Your Legs So We Can See The Area?
i give a modest spread
Can You Spread A Bit More?
i give another nudge and a fake shutter release sound happens. he puts his hands on my penis and scrotum and gives my penis a couple tugs and i sink back a little because he didn’t tell me what he was doing and i would really like it if he told what was going to happen here. he goes back to the computer and while he’s typing he asks Do You Tuck? no i don’t tuck. You Should Tuck It Would Help Stretch Out Your Skin. i’ll give it a shot.

Okay Dr Ting Is Going To Come In

a few minute pass and another knock at the door and i do my best to project in my feminine voice and they enter.

hi dr ting. Hi Crystal. he gives me a pretty firm handshake his voice is very relaxed and calming to listen to. I Like Your Glasses, Where’d You Get Them From? warby parker, where’d you get yours? I Think I Ordered Them Direct. the lab assistant chimes in and says something about ordering frames from china and jess sits across from me. What Kind Of Vaginoplasty Do You Want? well i just want a functioning vagina that’s really at the top of my list i’m hoping there will be minimal complications. So You Want A Safe Surgery? yeah i’d go with one of those.
i’m wondering if i just blew my chance at asking for an outer labia that is bigger than average or a bigger clitoral hood.

You Should Go On An Ice Cream Diet. why’s that. When Your Body Goes Through A Traumatic Event Like Surgery It’s Going To Use A Lot Of Resources. Your BMI is 18 So You’re Right At The Cusp Of Where We Want Patients To Be. If You Go Lower, It Could Complicate Your Healing Process.

Can You Sit On The Chair Again?
i sit on the chair and put my feet on the stirups and i tilt backwards. jess does the same examination procedure as the assistant but somehow i’m not bothered by it this time. he tugs on my penis. Do You Tuck? no i don’t tuck. It Could Help You Out, You’re Almost There. Did You Get Photos? the assistant says he took photos of me. She Wants To See Photos Of Your Work. Sure I Can Show You.

the chair goes back down and jess is showing me photos of his work on his iphone. This One Is A Year After Recovery. that’s a beautiful vagina. This One Is A Month After Surgery. wow. he zooms in on his iphone. We Try To Hide The Scars In The Folds Of Your Legs And In Less Visible Areas. in the photos you couldn’t really tell scars were there beacuse it just looked like something skin does when it’s creased. great thanks for showing me these photos. Okay No Problem Any Other Questions? nope i think that’s it. Okay Well If You Think Of Anything Else You Can Ask Elsa I Think You’re Supposed To Find Her After This. okay i’ll check in with elsa thanks dr ting. See You At Surgery. jess leaves and i get to ditch this gown and put on my black lace skirt. i wander in the hallway for a minute expecting to find elsa and then i return to the front office looking for elsa. a few minutes later my name is called and im led into the back again.

Hi I’m Elsa. hi elsa i’m crystal. elsa takes me into her office which is full of stacks of papers and packed manila folders.
How Do You Pronounce Your Last Name? it’s pen yuh loews suh. That’s What I Thought But There’s No Ene On Your Name. yeah it somehow got lost in the shuffle. Well My Last Name Is KEEN YON ES With An Ene Over The O. So You’re Going To Mount Sinai For Hormones? yeah i get hormones therapy and social work done there. Okay Great That Makes My Job Easy I Just Have To Get Papers From One Place To Clear Your Insurance. okay great is there anything i can do to help? Can You Send An Email Reminder Through Your MyChart To Refresh The Date On Their Papers? Do This Around June And That Should Be Enough Time To Get A Response From Your Insurance. okay no problem. So I’m Going To Give You A Surgery Date Now. okay great i’m ready. October 15th, 7:30AM. great that date works for me. Congratulations Honey. thanks i appreciate that and your help. Here’s A Folder Of Resources For Aftercare, Make Sure You Read It Over. If You Have Any Questions At All For Dr Ting You Can Send Me An Email And I’ll Make Sure It Gets Answered. great thanks. So You’ll Be On Bed Rest And On Medical Leave For Work For Up To Twelve Weeks. By The Time It’s The Holidays, You’ll Probably Be Fine To Have A Nice Drink. that sounds lovely. she hands me the stack of papers and i can’t stop smiling the rest of the day.






Mark