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Out and About with Michelle Hart - Column 15

Dr. Feel Good

Well my lovely reader Since you obviously didn't stay in the peoples temple and perhaps found it wanting, how about we let the good doctor check you out. Open wide and say Ahhh honey, you may feel a little prick but it won't hurt... Much.

In 1862, in Luxor, Egypt, Edwin Smith bought a roll of ancient papyrus that was missing its outer portions. Two months later, he bought the outer fragments from the same people who had sold him the previous roll. They had glued the fragments to another roll to swindle him. Smith recognized it and reconstructed the papyrus and tried to translate what it meant. James H. Breasted, who saw the importance of the writings, deciphered them in 1930. He found that it was an ancient copy of a manuscript that contained 48 case histories of injuries. They were arranged starting at the head and continuing down the body. The manuscript only goes as far as injuries of the thorax and spine, after which it cuts off. Nowhere in this papyrus is the act of trepanation mentioned, which was thought to be practiced by the Ancient Egyptians. Doctors in Ancient Egypt usually went through years of training at temple schools. They were able to set broken bones and studied brain structure. They also used magic spells and remedies to cure the sick. If someone did get sick, they believed that it was caused by the wrath of god or an evil spirit entering the body. The most common cure was an amulet and a magic spell. Egyptian doctors didn't realize the brain had anything to do with thinking, believing instead that the heart was the center of reason. Well as everyone knows... your very own digital diva Ms. Heart is all about well reasoned emotional outbursts so it looks like they got that one correct.

The oldest known physician is Imhotep, who lived in Egypt around 2725 B.C. These ancient Egyptians however did perform surgery on their wounded, but it was not quite the same as modern practices. Surgical tools included knives, drills, saws, hooks, forceps, pinchers, scales, spoons, and a vase with burning incense. Egyptian physicians classified wounds into three categories, depending on the chance of a successful treatment. These were ailments that could be treated, ailments that could be contended, and ailments that could not be treated. An ailment that was to be contended meant the physician had to wait and see if the patient was going to survive before starting the procedures. Some of the treatments of the wounded were written down on what has become known as the Edwin Smith Papyrus.

Long after Imhotep had died Hippocrates was born around the year 460 BC on the Greek island of Kos, and became a famous physician and teacher of medicine. Soranus of Ephesus, a 2nd-century Greek gynecologist, was Hippocrates' first biographer and is the source of the most information on Hippocrates' life. Information about Hippocrates can also be found in the writings of Aristotle, which date from the 4th century BC, in the Suda of the 10th century AD, and in the works of John Tzetzes, which date from the 12th century AD.

Soranus said that Hippocrates learned medicine from his father and grandfather, and studied other subjects with Democritus and Gorgias. Hippocrates was probably trained at the asklepieion of Kos, and took lessons from the Thracian physician Herodicus of Selymbria. The only contemporaneous mention of Hippocrates is in Plato's dialogue Protagoras, where Plato describes Hippocrates as "Hippocrates of Kos, the Asclepiad". Hippocrates taught and practiced medicine throughout his life, traveling at least as far as Thessaly, Thrace, and the Sea of Marmara. He probably died in Larissa at the age of 83 or 90, though some accounts say he lived to be well over 100; though several different accounts of his death do exist.

Hippocrates is credited with being the first physician to reject superstitions, legends and beliefs that credited supernatural or divine forces with causing illness. Hippocrates was credited by the disciples of Pythagoras of allying philosophy and medicine. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. True to his beliefs there is not a single mention of a mystical illness in the entirety of the Hippocratic Corpus. However, Hippocrates did work with many convictions that were based on what is now known to be incorrect anatomy and physiology, such as Humorism.

Well my lovely reader can you guess what these two historical doctors have in common? Both brought the study of medicine out of caves and into hospitals. Each had their preferred method and had some success with it. Each contributed to the long history of remaking the human body into it's desired state.... Health. Imhotep used magic rituals and talisman's and Hippocrates used science and reason. Some could argue, and rightly so, that faith has a certain amount of healing power and perhaps that's true. I do believe in miracles personally and have heard of some quite impressive case studies that have absolutely no medical explanation for the outcome.

Tonight ladies while you sit here in the waiting room to see the good doctor; as you struggle to find a fairly recent issue of Cosmo or Vanity Fair to read let's take a moment and consider what it takes to become that dream girl you all long to be. Unfortunately there is no magic potion nor wand that will mold you into the vision of yummy that you wish to be. Sadly you will have to take the long and painful route of surgery. One of the things that I would like to issue initially is a strong word of caution. I do know a lot about transition but I am no doctor, Nurse Ratchet would perhaps be a more fitting moniker but as always the thing's I will advise come from my own personal experiences as a woman. Each of us has a different vision of what we would like to be, or even look like. Some of us have some very strong feelings in regard to "what is best" so I'll forgo those arguments and will just focus on what is myth and what is reality. Regardless of what you know or believe currently, I will always give you sound heartfelt council.

He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood, he's the one that makes ya feel all right, he's gonna be your Frankenstein...

As we sit here waiting for a wheelchair, lets examine a few of the options we have before I take you to see the good doctor. There are a whole host of differing situations that bring us to the point of transition. Each woman is different and I'm sure would offer a fresh perspective as to why she needs to or wants to endure this long process. That my dear is the very first myth, It's not quick and most certainly not painless. For some, it's a true need and others a passing fancy or something they believe they desire. For some the pain is emotional, sometimes spiritual, and quite often financial. Each is a burden you WILL be saddled with regardless of your initial plans. Each situation has is own intrinsic challenges and the solutions are as varied as the stars above. How you solve those challenges and what you do to deal with them is entirely up to you.

Every one of us will approach this from a differing perspective and there is nothing wrong with having a different opinion on transition. The goal is to make good decisions based more in reality than some pent up fantasy. I would imagine that any woman here who has "completed" her journey can attest to the difficulties and hardships. I'm sure by now you're wondering just exactly how many hours you'll have to wait to look like Aphrodite, well have a seat in this wheelchair sweetie while I roll you down the hall. Don't mind the screams and the blood on the floor this is all for your benefit. I really do want you to be absolutely thrilled with what we do to you here at Arkham, so just sit back and relax honey. The doctor will see you now.

There are a multitude of things that will need to be answered before the "how long" question is posed. The simple answer is... your entire life. That's right ladies. If your heartfelt desire is to begin the process of transition then it's forever. While it's possible to stop the process and turn back in most cases it's seldom desired. Transition is not the "wonderful cure all" for life's problems and the mistakes you've made. You may believe that once you have your very own curvaceous body that life will be grand but that is very seldom the case. Eventually that means that the phone bill will still be due and few landlords will be willing to trade sex for rent. Oh and the best part is you will get to make less money so there is always that wonderful treat. The disappointments you face today will be magnified ten fold in most cases. The vast majority of men you encounter will only desire you because you happen to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Most will be horrifically insecure and though they will promise a commitment they won't follow through on it. Men truly will say anything to get in your knickers and often will leave a mess there for you to clean up. The joke is truly on them, because they may want to sample your charms but after a certain point they won't function as they once did. Oh and just wait until your biological clock starts clanging like Big Ben and you don't have a uterus to appease it. Birth control will take on a whole new meaning for you then. The hot flashes and the constant insecurity about your own self worth and self image are tremendous. The Doctor may make you feel good but the world and polite society certainly won't.

The very first step is to find a reputable therapist that either deals exclusively with us or at the very least has experience dealing with us. I spoke with a "girl" one time who was adamant about wearing work boots and flannel to see her counselor whom had suggested she wear something more gender specific. Her therapist would have liked to see her looking much more feminine and like any other normal woman. She refused and went to see someone else, I explained that perhaps her counselor was testing her and that she should do more to appear as who she professed herself to be. The point is that many times a therapist will request simple things to see how committed you are to your desired role. Disparage these requests at your own peril, you'll need that counselor to sign off on, or approve many of the lifestyle changes you seek. Depending on who you see the cost's will vary quite a bit. In most cases this will be around $200 per visit but that may be adjusted based on insurance and several other factors. Ideally you should consider it the first installment on purchasing your new body because when you get closer to your goal that's exactly what you will have. Your counselor will go over the details that are specific to your situation and your long term goals and help you determine if this is really the right choice for you. Even if you choose not to see one monthly you will need their assessments to begin taking hormones "legally / ethically" which will become part of your daily routine on a permanent basis.

A reasonable amount to budget for hormones and antiandrogens will be around $150 a month until your system adjusts to it's new chemistry. One thing that should be emphasized is that some of the effects of long term hormone use are irreversible, at least without surgery, hormones are not something that can be experimented with. Once you begin taking them wether "natural" or "synthetic" the changes are very permanent. There are considerable costs associated with hormone treatments, particularly if "natural" hormones are preferred over much cheaper "synthetic" hormones which are perceived to have much higher risks of side effects and complications. Many of the changes in your body will be determined by your family history and more importantly when you begin. If you're 48 years old 6'5 and weigh 325 pounds you won't ever look like Dita Von Tease no matter how many different hormone treatments you try. However if you are in your teens or early 20's you have a significantly higher chance of looking like Caroline Cossey in the future. Ideally the younger you start the better off you will be in every respect. Being a female is a lifetime endeavor of interpersonal socialization, physical deportment, emotional development, and acceptance. I realize that many of my lovely readers won't be very happy about all that lost time and learned behavior or a chance to be so stunning but unfortunately that is the reality. Unless you can channel Imhotep and find some long lost magical potion those of you who are older are going to have to deal with a lot of different medical procedures and finishing schools to get where we would like to be.

Finally it's absolutely necessary to be very realistic about what feminizing hormones can do, they are not a magic potion. The effects will take a long time to realize, at least two to three years before the maximum physical effects will be achieved. There are a lot of "myths" and "stories" about what will and won't happen to your body throughout the process. There is an entire world of opinion, dreamy eyed wishing, and downright falsehoods to be found regarding what a little bit of estrogen will do. Natal women are born with the right chemistry to facilitate a lot of the changes you may desire. There are thousands of products that claim they can help them yet few actually ever do. So why on earth would you ever believe these wonder products are going to transform you into Jessica Rabbit? Will hormones change your appearance and help you "pass" or look like a natal girl? Honestly.... NOPE! What will make you a woman or more of one as I often repeat is between your ears much more than anything else honey. While it's true that your derriere will fill out some, your skin may become much softer or even glow more, and estrogen is a natural lubricant for your joints; It won't make you shorter, soften your voice or help you move in a graceful way.

One of the most important things to check off on this judicious list of "thing's to do" is have a serious and realistic plan. That's right, A PLAN! The number of young girls I talk with that just can't wait to slip into a leather mini and some heels so they can "be" a girl is rather large. Sadly very few have any idea what it takes to get far beyond that to a simple pair of ked's and jeans. Many of you who have met me in person have seen me in what I wear to the village or when I perform or even the occasional outfit I wear at work. Very few have seen me when I casually stroll into the 7-11 to buy a Skor Bar though. The point is I blend in seamlessly because I have a plan and I always follow it quite diligently. You WILL need one to. The easiest way to create one is to look closely and studiously at women you admire. List the qualities you admire the most, not their cup size, hair color, or shoe size. We are not mere sex objects to be drooled over like a Knipschildt Madeleine though we do appreciate the desire and value it's not our only purpose. Don't look at us as "objects of lust" but as people whom you would like to emulate.

One night I decided to go into a local sex shop for reasons I still can't fathom. That alone is inconsequential, how I was dressed wasn't though. Ladies I looked like a tart in search of some serious trouble and perhaps I was even dreamily "asking for it". As I approached the door the bouncer actually stopped me and told me that I could not go inside without an escort. I stopped momentarily, jutted my hip out and placed my long red talons in that delicious gentle curve and just glanced his way with a thousand watt smile and in my sweetest sex kitten purr said "we'll just see about that" and strode inside with my stripper shoes loudly clacking on the tile beneath them. I perused the isles without incident and even asked the staff for help before I left. My attitude and manner, my appropriate female behavior, my poise in a questionable situation was gleaned by simply learning from other women and responding as I should. The point ladies is estrogen didn't help me do that. Well maybe it helped a little, you know the whole woman scorned thing. Yes my skin is a little softer now, my hair is a little fuller or perhaps has more shine, but those are just small pieces of a much bigger puzzle. In this particular case I relied more on Imhotep and that wonderful girl magic than the surgical science of Hippocrates. For women like us we will always need to use a little bit of both.

So what are the options we have medically for getting a body like Dita or Jessica you ask? Well dear just let me shove this giant needle in your arm to mellow you out a little while Dr. Feelgood begins the operation.

From a strictly genetic standpoint the male and female skeletons are not very different. The presence of high levels of estrogen in a young girl help to stimulate the growth and shape of her pelvic bones, but otherwise actually act to limit bone growth and final adult height. The high levels of testosterone in young boys help to lengthen and solidify their still developing bones, enhancing and developing male characteristics such as greater height and a narrower pelvic width. Neither of those things can be changed with any amount of hormones after a certain age. There are surgical options that can help though and the cost's as always will vary. Krystal and Celeste are wonderful examples of what can be achieved. They started fairly young, were petite to begin with and now are indistinguishable from natal women. Once you have been on estrogen for a while and have filled out a little depending on you stature initially you may need very few cosmetic procedures like them.

For the rest of us who are more statuesque the best thing you can do is learn to love having leg's that go all the way to the penthouse. With some careful planning it's really not an issue, trust me about this ladies! Yes you will need to work harder but the benefit's are worth it. The biggest hurdle is going to be softening your facial features. On average you will spend nearly 30 thousand to completely feminize your face or if you're truly wise just do a few small things to soften it. It's not always necessary to do everything but there are a few serious things to consider. The most prominent are going to be your jawline and nose. With those two softened and a brow lift you may not look like Jessica but at the very least you will look much more feminine. Each of these three will cost about half of doing everything at once so if you're on a budget just do them in stages. There is no way to increase the width of your hips currently but there are still some options out there. There are only two things available, one is a fat graft and the other is the black market. In some cases you can have fatty tissue moved or "grafted" to your hips or tush but it is very expensive and not without it's own complications. The black market option is perhaps more questionable, but I can assure you that weather you see a board certified doctor or someone on the street any surgery is inherently dangerous. If you're "in the know" you can be "pumped" which is a risky proposition but the reward is beyond compare. Getting done can cost you several thousand, and a lot of girls have done it with astonishing results and no real physical harm. Situations like these are a very personal decision so I'll leave it up to you my dear reader which one is preferred.

Ideally though long before you do any major or even minor surgery that will permanently alter your appearance start off with the small things first. One of the most critical is facial hair. No amount of estrogen will take it away. Laser or electrolysis is the only option for removing it and each session can cost several hundred dollars. The benefit is you can start there and as you slowly go through the process you will get a feel for how committed you are to transition. One thing that should be noted is that it also takes a long time. You many need a lot of time under the light depending on your situation so start now and do a little each month. Most of us will need around thirty hours or more depending on how much you want removed. My eventual goal is total body so I'm going to be zapped for a whole lot longer than the average. Once you get past that initial hurdle then you should start planning which other features you would like to physically change.

An easy way to calculate the cost's is to consider each operation will average around $5000 and then add them up for a total. Close your mouth honey, it's only sticker shock. Something you should also consider is what really needs to be done more than what you would like to have done. All of you have seen my pictures by now so as much as I would just love to have a few more things done and just fix some of my own vain misgivings about how I look, a lot of those are on a sabbatical. Unless some magnificent benefactor shows up and has a personal Barbie fantasy he would like to fulfill which many girls often happily accept you will be paying for it on your own. I would definitely consider that situation myself depending mostly on the amount of the high heel and long nail's budget offered. I do have need's also boy's... That's another of the many monthly cost's to also consider. Even if you're frugal just the normal beautification rituals can add up very quickly. Unless you have very petite and beautiful hands you really should get you nails done regularly. I spend about $90 dollars when I go but it can be done for less, I'm just fiercely loyal about whom I do business with so I spend a little more.

Now that we have covered just a few of the things on our little checklist of desire let's review what it really takes to become a glamazon. On a monthly basis you will spend around $400 dollars for just your basic treatments, therapy, and incidentals. Once you are farther along it will be time to start considering which cosmetic procedures you feel that you may need or might want. If you're lucky and start transition young you won't need as many but if you're a little older you may need several. Your face alone could cost you nearly thirty thousand, your bosom will be close to ten and you may end up with very slight hips. I haven't even gone into how much you are going to spend on wardrobe, hair, and cosmetics each week but I may do that a little later.

Once you have been on the path a while many things in your life WILL change. You may, and most usually will begin to see the world in a completely new way. One of the things that will be the most difficult is the mood swings. Many of you with whom I've spoken with know me and my curious moods at this point. I'm fairly sane most of the time.... Honest... No ... Really! However I still tear up at movies and really get upset by some of the littlest things. The things I used to be passionate about have lost much of their interest for me but what's a girl to do. These days I'm more interested in who's sleeping with who and who has the best sale on shoes than I am about Nascar. No. I never liked Nascar so don't even start with the "but Michelle Dale is so dreamy stuff" I really could care less about sports. The point is ladies that how you think will change and your attitude about sex and life in general will also.

The question you really need to ask yourself ladies is if you really want to see Dr. Feelgood because you honestly believe he can help you escape Dartmoor or is it just because you want to dress for sexess? Transition is a very expensive proposition yet I'm always amazed by the sheer number of men who still expect "it" for free. If you happen to be one of my wonderful male readers take this to heart.

Honey it takes an incredible amount of money to look this cheap.

With love,

Nurse Ratchet, the real Frankenstein...

If you have a suggestion for a topic you would like to see addressed feel free to write me through my profile on URNA. Also, feel free to Post and Comments below. If you would like to know more about me or are just curious don't be shy, reply.

 

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