What complications will arise out of Gerald's heart attack?
Gerald is a reporter who goes undercover as an employee of the State Department of Transportation to uncover a corruption scandal. His life long friend, Grace, tipped him off and helped him get a job where she works. He finds love with a co-worker, Veronica. In an office full of women, Gerald takes refuge with the guys. They happen to be the people that he is investigating and gathering evidence for his story. And at the least opportune moment, Gerald has a heart attack and nothing is the same again.
1/ Shock Advised
I doubled over with pain as Grace looked over in dismay to my contortions. The uncontrolled jerking stopped as I turned out of my office chair and into the floor. I could no longer see but I could still hear. I couldn't breath and I couldn't speak as I lie helplessly on the floor.
"Gerald, Are you OK? Are you alright?" She patted my arm briskly hoping for a response but I couldn't give one.
Grace's voice said, "Celesta, Call 911! Veronica, Get the AED!" I knew that the AED was the automatic electronic defibulator that could be used to restart someone's heart if needed.
Veronica and Celesta responded as I felt the pressure of Grace's fingers on my throat feeling for my pulse. Then she must have placed a mask over my nose and mouth and tilted my head back and blew two quick breaths into me and afterward began to apply pressure in regular thrusts to the right place on my chest to get the blood pumping. A couple more breaths then I felt pads being affixed to my chest which had been laid bare
A mechanical voice said "Stay clear, Evaluating...... Shock Advised....." A bolt of electricity surged into my heart and my heart began to pump on its own and I began to breathe as I lapsed into sleep.
In my dream state the events replayed in my mind.
'How did a macho man like me get into a workplace with the distaff stamp upon it, filled with women?'
In answer to that, I found myself back in the Waffle House sitting at a booth across from my best friend, Grace. She'd been venting about work and I had found myself tuning out just a bit. I had learned that Grace didn't want me to solve her troubles, but just listen. It was really hard not to try to solve things for Grace since I cared about her so deeply.
"So you are a hot shot reporter, right?"
"Almost. Most of my work is undercover so I write under a pen name. But that pen name is pretty well known for my exposes."
"For the sake of the people of Georgia, it's time to unearth the corruption of my boss's boss. I've tried getting the goods myself, but he won't confide in a 'skirt' even when I use all my feminine charms. I bet another 'good ole boy' would have the best chance at finding out what he's hiding. Guys tell each other everything."
"I take it he's a died in the wool male chauvinist pig!"
"You've got it! I've gotten the impression that he's the bottom of the totem pole and it involves a number of high placed officials, perhaps even the Governor himself. Do you think that you could help uncover it?"
"Grace, I'll do my best to pitch it to the newspaper. Can you provide me with the information that you have so far?"
"Sure, It isn't enough to build a case on yet since some of it is just hunches based on conscience."
"I'm sold on the story since you are, Grace. I'll convince them. Have you any ideas on how to get me undercover?"
"That's the easy part. There is a clerical job in my working group. If you start working here in our 'hen house' you'll have the chance to have lunch and breaks along with the other men in the facility including my boss's boss. It will be a way in to their world in a low enough position that they won't feel that you are a threat to them."
"That may just work, Grace. What exactly do you do in your 'hen house' "
She blushed, "No, its not like that! We work for the State Department of Transportation. In our office, we regulate outdoor signage. It can get a bit complicated in granting permits since not only did we have to go by the state laws in granting permits but also the county regulations as well. I work with the renewals and the vacancy we have is a person who works with initial requests which is the position that I would help you get."
"Who else works there?"
"Veronica, with her para-legal training, maintains the files on all of the county ordinances. She will advise both of us when we have questions on how to apply the law in the permit process. Mostly the county ordinances follow set patterns so it's easy mostly but Veronica is there to clarify anything that is out of the ordinary."
"What's she like? "
"She's very sultry with green eyes, red hair and a wonderfully curvy figure. She also knows martial arts so you'd best behave yourself."
"I'll behave. Who else is there?"
"Celesta is with us temporarily for her work study program. I will be very sad to see her leave when her time with us is up. She does the filing and secretarial duties for our working group. She is a major help as she keeps all the paper in the office organized."
"What's she like?"
"She has the enthusiasm of youth. She can't stay still so she's up and doing something all the time. She is boisterous and perky like a cheerleader. She looks the part with her long blonde hair, blue eyes, and perfect teeth and a body in Barbie proportions. She tends to wear the kind of short skirts and revealing tops that look so good on a girl her age."
I had the kind of far away look with a smile on my face that Grace playfully slapped my hand. "None of that, my friend, I know that you will have to play the macho conquistador for your cover, but these are my friends. I expect you to treat them with the respect that you've always treated me."
"Of course my dear, but if one of them throws herself at me, you can't begrudge me catching them, can you?"
"I guess. There's one other woman in the office and that's my boss, Reyna Langston. She is the glue that holds us all together. Reyna is a skilled lawyer who is climbing the governmental ladder. "
"What's she like?"
"She's a mousy kind of woman with her looks but don't let that fool you. Deep down she is a very passionate woman about everything that she does. She's very fair, and not too thrilled about her boss's misconduct. She'll help in keeping your cover and making sure you have access to dig up information for the story."
"I really feel that this will work. I'll get right on it and pitch the story to my editor. Thank you ma'am!"
And it did work, I was accepted as one of the guys, socially in the workplace. That's all I needed, between what I was able to overhear and the access to computer and records to follow up, I had built up a compelling case against Mr. James Thornton , mid level manager and 'Good ole boy'. I was working my way up the food chain following the money.
The funny thing was that I was accepted in Grace's working group even though I was a rooster in the hen house. The rest of the women accepted me because of Grace's friendship for me. The macho thing was more overtly an act for my cover. Once the other women realized that Grace and I would have nothing beyond our life long friendship, sparks would fly as each in turn would compete for my attention. Life was good so I didn't have a clue what might be the reason for the cardiac arrest that had gripped me.
Reyna had taken us all out to lunch as a reward for the plan that we together had come up with to make the office more efficient. After lunch we had all gotten back into the office, except for Grace who had excused herself to run an errand. We settled back into the banter that went on in between working on our tasks..
"Celesta, how are things going with John?'
"Couldn't be better, Gerald. I'm still embarrassed about my school girl crush on you, when I threw myself at you. You introducing me to John when I thought that I had you to myself was the best thing that happened to me so far in my life. Both John and I will be completing this work study segment soon and we'll both be back in college together. I have a feeling that this is the real thing and not just another tryst."
"Good for you, Celesta. John is very lucky to have you in his life. I'm glad that I had a chance to bring you two together."
Celesta wrapped me up in a hug and kiss that raised my blood pressure several points and things sprang to life that had a mind of their own. "Thank you, Gerald. I'll really miss you when my time here is over."
"Gerald, you wouldn't be letting someone poach in my territory?" Veronica's green eyes flared with jealousy and her flaming red hair flashing as she jerked her head around to face me.
"Not in the least, Veronica. You know I only have eyes for you. Celesta was just thanking me for introducing her to John."
"Well, you'll have to prove it!" She drew me into an embrace with her and began the kind of kiss that I would ordinarily only enjoy before lots more things were to happen behind closed doors. My blood pressure was thru the roof but I was in heaven.
All of a sudden there was a giggle thru out the office, as Reyna appeared from her private office to weigh in on the public displays of affection. "Girls, please let Gerald alone. I know we play our parts to help Gerald out. Teasing him when no one else is around may be a little too much temptation no matter how much he is a gentleman."
"Awww, you're no fun!"
"Just be glad that Grace is not here. She's a lot more protective of Gerald than I am. Back to work, Ladies and Gentleman!"
"Yes ma'am!" "Thank you, Reyna!" "Of course, Reyna"
I still had a very red face when Grace arrived back in the office. She came over to check on me when my heart suddenly was in so much pain that I could not stand it and somehow I knew that this time it wasn't gas pains. It began all over again but I still could not tell what it was that brought the heart attack upon me. I hoped for a good outcome when at last this came out on the other side instead of the events replaying over and over again.
I opened my eyes and saw myself all hooked up to monitors and IVs in an ICU room. A smiling woman's face dressed in scrubs greeted me as I looked at her nameplate which read Dr Patricia Drake. I reminded myself that it was not polite to stare at her cleavage, not any woman but especially my Doctor, and I turned my eyes up to look into hers.
"Gerald, its so good to see you awake. I'm a surgeon who specializes in dealing with brain and neurological trauma. Can you speak?"
I managed to get out, "Yes Doctor. Could I get something to drink?"
"Very soon, but not right now. We have some decisions to make, you and I. Can you confirm that you have no living relatives and that we have the latest version of your Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will dated July 6, 2015"
"Yes, that is accurate. I have full trust in Grace Brooks to make decisions for me while I am incapacitated. Is she here?"
"Yes, she's waiting to see you after we are finished. Gerald, you have a tumor that has been in your brain a long time... since you were born which was quite benign until recently. Your heart, by the way is fine. That weight loss drug induced the arrest. Discontinuing the drug will alleviate the heart condition."
"What changed with the tumor recently?"
"We believe that experimental drug that you hoped would help with your weight problem triggered an unintentional side effect and caused the tumor to be malignant as well as triggering your heart attack. We are afraid that it might spread so it would be best to go ahead and remove it surgically?"
"Is it in a good place and size to be removed without serious complications?".
"For the moment it is small enough but it is growing and if we wait it will grow too large to remove surgically without some treatment to try to shrink it."
"Seems like I've been lucky. What effects besides refraining from pain, seizures and cardiac arrest should I encounter with removal"
"We've done a brain scan and have diagnosed you with Harry Benjamin Syndrome which is being masked by the tumor. The tumor is emulating the part of the brain that females don't have that makes males, masculine. If we remove the tumor then you will return to what would be normal for you of having a female brain in a male body. That change will dramatically change you as things stabilize. You'd become a transsexual."
"Being a transsexual isn't life threatening if one gets the proper medical treatment, is it?"
"No, Gerald it is not in and of itself. Treatment consists of psychological monitoring coupled with hormonal treatment and eventually a period of socialization in the true gender before genital surgery. A number of cosmetic treatments can be also performed, some of which involve surgery to aid in the adjustment of the body to meet expectations of a person of their true gender. There is a new option, it's about as new as diagnosis of HBS from a brain scan, Stem Cells can be extracted and then encouraged to grow into the female reproductive organs that you are missing. I have an in with a research entity called Jaime's Hope Foundation that has had some success growing transplant interfaces but have yet to grow complete organs, I'd like your permission to extract some stem cells to send to them."
"You have it Doctor. I don't want to die, I'll sign the consent forms. How quick can we do this?"
"I have an OR on standby. We can start as soon as we get you prepped and the rest of the preparations made."
She handed me a clipboard with sheets of paper with possible complications. As I read she explained what I was reading until I was satisfied and signed them.
"Thank you, Gerald. I'll set the process in motion to get you into surgery as soon as possible. I'll send in Grace so she can speak with you for a little while and also send in an RN to prep you for surgery.
Grace and Janine Howard, RN came into the room.
"Hello, Gerald, I am your Nurse, Janine Howard. I'm going to inject something to make you sleep into your IV. Miss Brooks you can chat with Gerald until you need to leave so I can finish the preparations."
"I understand, Nurse Howard."
"How are you doing, Gerrie?" The nurse had prepared the syringe, with the drug, and injected it into my IV. Grace was the only person who I allowed to call me Gerrie, since we had been life long friends.
"The doctor says that it was the results of unintentional side effects from the weight loss medication that I have been taking. Not only did it cause the cardiac arrest, but it set off a tumor in my brain. It's not heart surgery that they are prepping me for it's brain surgery!"
"Well that explains why a brain surgeon was assigned to your case. What about your heart?"
"I quit taking the weight loss drug and my heart will be fine. Do you remember that article on the break thru that they had with Harry Benjamin Syndrome that made its treatment a mandatory treatment under the Obama medical oversight regulations?"
"Yes, those poor girls and boys can now have a brain scan to diagnose and enable immediate treatment under their health plan instead of having to wait until they are adults and they could foot the bill."
"After they remove the tumor, I'll be a transwoman. The tumor emulated the part of the brain that makes males act like men. After the surgery, and the scan afterward confirms my condition, I'll be a woman according to federal law. They know that untreated this can be fatal so they will put me into treatment as soon as it is confirmed."
"Gerrie, we've been friends so long and that will never change."
"I'm glad that I can depend on your friendship, Grace. You know, this could be interesting."
"What could be interesting, Gerrie?"
"We put to rest a long time ago that a relationship would not develop between us since I was not the right gender for you. It will be interesting if anything develops after the real me is revealed post surgically."
"Well, it will only be fair to wait till you have all your surgeries and I get to see how cute you turn out."
"I hate to interrupt, but time is about up for your visit."
Grace did not hesitate but leaned down and planted a kiss full on my mouth. She looked with smiling eyes into mine while telling me, "For Luck!"
She turned to the door as I lay speechless, in shock. When she got to the door threshold she turned and blew a kiss to me.
I recovered my voice and told her, "Thank you, See you on the other side!"
She smiled a big smile and told me, "I'll be waiting!" and she turned back and left so the nurse could continue her work with me. it was shortly after that when I fell into a deep sleep.
I woke in recovery and realized it was all over. I was amazed at how clear and sharp my thinking was now. I was perplexed that the kind of thoughts and observations that my mind quickly arrived at were not anything like what I was used to having. It was like a weight had been lifted from me. I finally had total freedom within my own mind. Emotional content and descriptive content came to the front. Aggression and competition which had been my constant companions within my thoughts were no where to be found. Instead I had a peace that I had never known before. I felt a contentment best expressed by cooperating with others. Especially people who would in turn cooperate with me forming a synergy. Is this the real me? Is this what being female is like?
I saw a RN beside me look at the monitors and call in a report presumably to Dr Drake. Her arrival several minutes later told me that my assumption was correct. Both women were displaying ample cleavage but instead of exciting me as it once did, I soon turned to admiring their clothing choices and how it fit and how comfortable it looked.
"Hello, Gerald. Your recovery is coming along nicely. Your surgery went off without any problems and we got all of the tumor and the examination made while we were inside revealed no spread to any of the surrounding tissue. We caught it just in time. How do you feel?"
"I feel fine, Doctor. My mind is crisp sharp and alert but the things it's coming up with bear no resemblance to what I'm used to thinking. Suggestion would lead me to believe that I'm thinking in a female way now. Everything seems to have emotional content that even if it were there before I never noticed but I am well aware of it now. What ever it is, its like a burden has been lifted off me that I never realized that I was carrying. I feel so free!"
"The therapist that I've asked to take your case will help you to sort out these new thoughts and together you will sort thru the options for your future."
"Thank you, Doctor . This is all so foreign to me but somehow it feels right. I thank you for saving my life and making sure I get all the help I need to cope with this new existence. Somehow, I don't want to be known as Gerald anymore. It does not feel right. I used to be known as Gerrie before my male pride got the best of me. Could I be known as Gerrie, now?"
"Of course, Gerrie. I'll make the notation on your chart and alert the nursing staff. You should go to sleep now if you can. We'll be moving you into a regular room soon."
"Yes Doctor and thank you so much."
"You are quite welcome, Gerrie You'll be going back to sleep soon but I have someone here to keep you company till then."
Grace arrived and blew me a kiss, "The Doctor said not to make physical contact with you yet so the air kiss will have to do for now, Gerrie. How are you feeling?"
"I feel very different and at the same time I feel congruent. It's like this was the way I was always supposed to be."
"And how are you supposed to be, Gerrie?"
"I'm a woman. I'm sure that the doctors will have to do their scans and therapeutic examinations to confirm it but I have now doubts."
"Are you really okay with being a woman?"
"I am okay, don't worry, Grace. I'm glad that they told me what to expect or I would be beside myself trying to sort out this new me but since I know what was going on, I wasn't scared about the change and that helped"
"Are you uncomfortable in any way?"
"Just between you and me, I am very uncomfortable now having a male body. Certain parts especially distress me and I've only been awake a few minutes."
"Once your status is determined, I'll get you applied for treatment under your health plan. Patients who have a congenital abnormality rise to the top of the waiting list for surgical correction. They don't leave anything out so when you are finished with everything, you should be very comfortable with your body."
"What about the stem cells? Were they extracted and did the foundation accept growing me a reproductive tract?"
"They've accepted the cells subject to some reasonable conditions that I agreed to on your behalf and they will start the process once the cells arrive at their facility."
"That sounds great, Grace."
"If you are feeling up to it, Veronica is waiting to see you. She really wanted to see you prior to your surgery but there just wasn't time. I've had the doctors keep her up to date on your condition considering how close the two of you have become."
"I'm glad that she cares about me. I care about Veronica too. Of course, I'd like to see her. Does she know what the surgery was about? Does she know I'm a woman inside now?"
"Gerrie, she knows. I'm hoping things will work out okay."
"I'm not now what she signed up for when we started having fun together. Could you send her in and give us a little privacy?"
"Sure Gerrie. I'll get her." Grace left my bedside and soon after she left the room, Veronica came in."
"Gerald, I'm so glad that you are okay. You scared me with that heart attack and the emergency surgery afterward. I'm sorry that I haven't been in before but there just wasn't time for anyone but Grace to see you."
"I'm sorry about that Veronica. I guess that since we are a couple, I should have changed things so that you would be doing what Grace does. It's been so quick us getting together that I guess I missed the point where it should have been changed."
"That's okay, Gerald. I know how close you two are and we don't have a commitment between each other. It's okay."
"So how are we now, Veronica. It's weird but after that surgery, I'm a woman on the inside now. Eventually I'm going to have to be one on the outside too for my own sanity. Are you going to be able to be with a woman?"
"Gerrie, I guess I didn't want to face it even though I knew what had happened to you. I care deeply about you but I'm not a lesbian. We can't be a couple anymore. I am so sorry. I want to make it up to you by helping you adjust to your new life and being your friend. I still love you but that love is taking a different form now."
"Ronnie, I understand. Really I do. I love you too. I really value your friendship. I'm going to need your help if I ever hope to get this right."
"Gerrie you are going to make a wonderful woman. Just being this understanding about me, tells me that you really are a woman now. I'm sorry what we had is over. However, I am excited by the possibilities of you being my friend."
"Thank you Ronnie. Is there anything else we need to talk about?"
"For now, but the next time I feel lost about what a man is thinking, I'm going to want to pick your brain."
"Unfortunately, even though I may know what a man might have thought in the past, any thoughts I have now are as a woman. I'm not sure how much use I'll be since some of my own memories are a mystery to me what I might have been thinking.".
"Trust me, any insight, however flawed, would be better than the total void of information I have now. I'll go get Grace for you. Be well, Gerrie."
"I'll do my best, Ronnie. Thank you. All my hopes for you." Veronica left and I breathed a sigh of relief. Grace was soon back by my bedside.
"How are you doing, Gerrie?"
"Surprisingly well, Grace. Ronnie and I have broken up but we are still friends. She wants to help me and thinks that maybe I can help her understand men. I'll do my best but I'm not sure how well I'll do with that now."
There was a knock at the door and in walked Trevor Morgan, who was my contact with the newspaper.
"Gerald, I was distressed to hear of your heart attack. Hi Grace. How are you really, Gerald?"
"The heart attack was the tip of the iceberg. They discovered that I had a brain tumor and I've had surgery to remove it. The thing is that tumor was emulating a male brain structure, without it my brain is female. That makes me a transwoman and eventually I'll need treatment to match my body with my new mind."
"Wow, that's heavy Gerald. Are you really a woman now?"
"Yes, I am, Trevor. You can call me Gerrie "
"Gerrie, I have all the data on sources and evidence for your story from the last time that you sent it which was, evidently, just before your heart attack. We are really close to getting everything we need for the story. "
"I agree that we are just about there. Just a little more time with the good old boys and a little more time with the Department's computer system and I can wrap this up with a big beautiful red bow."
"Gee, Gerrie. That's not something you would have said before. I guess I am convinced that you really are a woman now."
"That's why I have to watch myself and get out of here as soon as I can to finish up. I can't see them opening up before Gerrie the transwoman like they have before Gerald."
"I'll pass this on to Ms. Jamison, our editor. You know that the paper embraces diversity and you'll be welcomed back warmly. You may even get a promotion to the editorial staff between your great work in the field and your new perspective on life. That will make you very much in demand and the Newspaper will want to keep you happy."
"Well I never had any intention of trying to take advantage of becoming a transwoman, but once I wrap up the story, I fully will embrace the experience for my own good. Any perks I get as a result are just icing on the cake."
"Can you do it? Can you finish the story in your condition?"
"The longer I get away from the surgery, the harder it is to act completely the way I used to act as a man. I'm going on inertia but eventually that will run out. With me being able to get an early release from the hospital, I should be able to be back to work soon enough to continue acting as a man for long enough to finish things up."
"I'll pass on your assurance to Ms. Jamison. We'll talk again when you have something new to report. Get well soon. Gerrie"
"Thank you, Trevor. I'm going to get well and I look forward to chatting soon."
"Take care, Trevor"
Trevor turned around and left as quickly as he came in and soon there was just Grace and I left in the room again."
"That was interesting, Gerrie. You've had a busy day. How are you physically?"
" I'm fading fast, Gloria. I hope that next time I get to see you, I'm recovered enough to get more than a air kiss."
"I look forward to that as well, Gerrie. Bye for now!"
"Bye Grace!" Grace blew me an air kiss and left out the door while I turned over on my side and fell asleep.
I woke refreshed with an awareness that something wasn't quite right.
Since I had accepted that my mind now had female gender, it was my body which was at odds and abnormal. I wasn't sure just what would be normal for my body but I knew that its present configuration was not what was right for me. All of my sensory input still included emotional content which I was still getting used to evaluating.
The neurological effects of the change in my brain had spread beyond my perception of colors. Somehow I seemed more sensitive to touching and being touched. My sense of smell was a bit more pronounced and I was very grateful that sometime in the night, I had been given a bed bath and a new hospital gown and I felt nice and clean.
All I really had to go on was that I was thinking in new ways. I assumed that the gender that I now was expressing by my thoughts was female since it bore no resemblance to the male gender that I had been used to having. Like the question of whether a tree falling in the wilderness without anyone to hear it made any sound, a gender expression that is only inward can not be verified except as expressed outwardly in a way that someone could observe and react to that expression.
Part of that outward expression had already changed in the way that holding my body and moving it felt right and comfortable. Very naturally my movements seemed to suggest feminine patterns. That is not to say that any more than unconscious motions took on that quality, since when I took direct control of my movements there was not any noticeable change. It seemed logical to me that some movements were made out of practicality when one's entire body or clothing worn was female and still others were made out of custom or social expectation. Were I to fit in and actually live as a female, I would have a lot to learn.
I knew enough that, with my brain in its new configuration, I would want ultimately to start living as a woman so that I could blend in with other women. However I had some unfinished loose ends with my story that I would like to tie up. I wondered if it would be possible for me to be a good enough actress to portray a man in the short term to finish my story. I would have to go on the inertia of what was in order to pull it off. Because of that, I would have to return to work as soon as humanly possible before doing any of the work to put my body in sync with my new brain.
I was jarred out of my introspection by a member of hospital staff in scrubs, that I identified as a PCT even before I saw her name tag by the fact that she was carrying a vitals data pad which she interfaced to the devices which constantly monitored my vital signs.
"I'm Wendy Newman, Gerrie, and I am going to be your day shift PCT. Even though you are constantly being monitored and your vitals relayed to the nurses station, we check the automatic monitoring once each shift the old fashioned way just to confirm that everything is functioning correctly. I'm about to do that. Are you in any pain? If so can you give me your perception on our 1 to 10 scale?"
"Wendy, Amazingly enough I feel fine and I'm not in any severe pain. My discomfort level is about a 2 which is very bearable."
"I wont suggest to your nurse any change in your pain medication at this time then. We find that the new endoscopic techniques that we can use for brain surgery greatly minimize the trauma of the procedure and recovery time. I'll do your vitals now."
She pulled out a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff and took my blood pressure. Next she felt for my pulse and timed with her watch. I tried to breath normally while she had my pulse held since during part of that time she was also observing my respiration. I had learned about taking vitals in our CPR class so I tried not to mess her up by controlling my breathing instead of letting it happen naturally. She noted other things on her data pad and then turned her attention back to me.
"Your breakfast tray will be coming up soon." She took the insulated mug to the sink and emptied it and filled it up with fresh ice water from the dispenser. "Is there anything else that i can get you?"
"I can't think of anything, Wendy. Is Grace by any chance waiting to see me?"
"Yes, she is, Gerrie. She wanted me to signal her the 'all clear' to come see you once I had finished my morning evaluation. I'll let her know that it's okay for her to come visit with you."
"Thank you, Wendy. I'm looking forward to seeing Grace."
Wendy departed and very soon afterward Grace came in with an air kiss to me.
"Good morning, Gerrie. How are you doing this morning?"
"Grace, I feel well for what I've been thru. I'm convinced already that I am going to need to become the woman outwardly that I have become inwardly. What will the insurance cover?"
"For you, it should cover almost anything that you want that is possible, including the cost of the experimental surgery that they took the stem cells for. Since your condition came about as a result of a potentially cancerous tumor, The Rehabilitation Act applies."
"What is that and what does that do for me?"
"It was an expansion of the patients bill of rights that was written into a budget bill in the late 20th century that required insurance to cover breast reconstruction due to lump or mastectomy to treat cancer. It was expanded to cover any plastic surgery needed to restore normal function and appearance due to cancer. In your case, it would cover any procedure needed to restore appearance and function of being a normal female. In so many cases of late onset diagnosis, these days, nothing beyond SRS is covered with some other procedures being excluded as not necessary and thus not covered."
A food service worker came thru the door after knocking carrying two breakfast trays for me. One was ordered by Dr Drake as I saw on the card with it which had a place to order the other meals of the day according to the diet that I was on.
The other meal had been ordered by Dr Johansen which was a standard diet tray. On the order, she had written with a flourish a small note.
'This one is for Grace. Please enjoy! Grace, remember that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. ~ Dr Erika Johansen'
We both started into our breakfasts as we continued to talk.
"Grace, that was really thoughtful of Dr Johansen. I like her already even though we haven't met yet."
"Dr Johansen was very thoughtful and that shows just how good care she will take of you. You are very lucky to have her, Gerrie."
."What does today look like for me?"
"You'll meet your therapist, Dr Erika Johansen and she will assign a battery of psychological tests for you to take as well as having a chance to get acquainted with you. Sometime during the day, you will take the official evaluation medical test for HBS as well."
"Looks like I'm going to be very busy. What do the ladies at work know?"
"They know that you've had surgery and that your heart is alright and that you are recovering."
"Grace, please find out the soonest that I can be released to go back to work. Since both my real and cover jobs are clerical in nature, I can deal with a lifting restriction easily and still function in both jobs. Please explain to my surgeon what is at stake as best you can and see if she will go ahead and release me. If I have just a little more time I can wrap up my investigation if I can do it as Gerald. I can do that going on inertia, but I'll lose the ability to do that before long."
"Looks like my time is up since I see someone on her way into the room. You take care, Gerrie. I'll speak to Dr Drake and see how soon you can be released."
"Thank you, Grace and good luck with Dr Drake!" Grace blew me an air kiss and I blew her one back. Grace was about to leave but the Doctor coming in motioned for her to stay.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Erika Johansen. You must be Gerrie since you are the one hooked up to all the monitors in the bed, and you are?"
"I'm Grace Brooks, Dr Johansen. Thank you so much for the breakfast tray and the great advise. I hold Gerrie's medical power of attorney and we have been best friends for a very long time."
"You are very welcome, Grace. I'm glad to meet you and please call me, Erika. You too Gerrie. Grace you can go on now if you need to go or you can stay while Gerrie and I get acquainted if you like."
"Thank you, Grace. All my hopes!"
"Good Luck, Grace and thanks for your efforts on behalf of Gerrie!"
"Nice to meet you Erika and thank you. See you soon, Gerrie" Grace left, walking purposely, in an effort to speed her journey to Dr Patricia Drake's Office.
"Grace seems like a very nice woman, Gerrie. How does she seem to be taking the news that you are suddenly turning into a woman?"
"Grace is one of my oldest and dearest friends, Erika. Grace accepts me as I am, She remains a good friend."
"Do you have any birth family to turn to, Gerrie?"
"I was an only child and I have outlived my parents, who were only children, and my grandparents. I'm the last of my birth family. All that remains are distant cousins from the children of my grandparent's brothers and sisters. That's why Grace agreed to hold my power of attorney. There isn't anyone who really is 'family' left but Grace is part of my family of choice. She's like a sister to me."
"Was there ever a time when you felt that Grace might be more than a sister to you?"
"Up until the time that I found out that Grace is a lesbian, I thought about the possibility. I wasn't her type then. Maybe I will be her type when I finish changing."
"I understand that you endorsed the entire course of treatment even before they had removed the initial tumor which quit masking that you are in reality a transwoman. How do you feel about going back to work as a woman?"
"Anything that I tell you is subject to patient - doctor privilege as long as I am not a danger to myself or others, Isn't it?"
"Of course, Gerrie."
"I need to try to act like a man for a little while longer. In addition to being a clerical worker for the state department of transportation, I'm also a reporter. I'm undercover working on a story concerning political corruption in mid level management and leading up the food chain. I have access to the good ole boys' club and I need that access for a little while longer to finish the research for my story."
"Thank you for confiding in me and of course I will keep your confidence. Short term you should be successful, going on inertia, to maintain male gender presentation. The sooner the better, so far as success is concerned. However, you'll need to balance the need to do this very soon against your personal medical condition."
"Grace is going to set up a meeting with Dr Drake to find out how soon I can be released so I can get on with finishing my research."
"Once you finish this unfinished business, how do you wish to proceed?"
"First, I want to achieve a congruence between my mind and body. Second, I know enough about men that in my present mind set that I will no longer be accepted as one of them. The very act of changing my gender identification means that for some people, no matter how well I expressed female gender, I would not be accepted. However, for those who remain, I hope that I will be welcomed to the sorority of women by women and acknowledged to be a woman by men. In that way I can function normally as a productive member of society."
"You appear to have this will thought out. I'm not sure how objective that I could be in dealing with a situation like yours."
"It helps that I have a feminine perspective on this now and I'm willing to cooperate with the process instead of compete against it. Thank you for listening, Erika. Thanks also for taking care of my friend Grace for breakfast."
"It was my pleasure, Gerrie. I guess we are acquainted enough for now. I have a battery of psychological tests that I would like for you to take, Gerrie. I'll start you on the first one and give the rest to your PCT to give to you when you are ready for them. She'll collect the completed tests and get them to me for scoring. I'll be back in touch with you after I have finished scoring them so we can work on what comes next."
"Thank you, Erika!"
Erika gave me a test and started me on it and then told me, "Gerrie, you may begin. I'll check on you later"
I waved to her and got busy answering the test. One by one, I finished all of the tests. During one of the test breaks, they wheeled me out to do an MRI which was to confirm my brain gender and it came out female just as everyone expected.
During another of the test breaks, there was only one tray delivered and I ate lunch alone. I was grateful while I was eating lunch since it was very tasty. Gloria called and told me that she had finished her initial meeting with Dr Drake and that she would be meeting with both of us later. Rather than immediately go into more testing, the next thing was for me to watch a DVD on HRT and read some text background and then take a test. By the time that was over, I knew what to expect when I started taking female hormones and what they would do to me both physically and mentally.
I was pleasantly surprised when my testing took another break since I had a visitor. Celesta entered and blew me a kiss, having been cautioned that it was in my best interest not to have physical contact yet.
"Gerald, I am so glad to see that you are okay. I was so worried when you collapsed at the office."Celeste looked on very perplexed and very intensely at me. She even passed her hand around my head as though it contained some kind of sensor device but it was empty. She remained perplexed so I hoped that I could reassure her that I was okay.
"They say that I will be okay. My heart is basically fine. It was just overwhelmed by medication but that has been taken care of now."I paused for a moment and when my explanation did not seem to bring any relief to her face I had to ask: "What, Celeste has you so perplexed about me?" "Gerald, you are very different now. I read auras and yours has always been strong virile and very masculine. That is up to now. I sence now that your aura now contains many very female elements that are dominating and taking over your aura. Your aura is becoming very much like a normal woman's aura, now! How can this be?" "Celeste, the surgery that I underwent removed a tumor that was emulating male brain charactoristics. With the tumor gone, it leaves me with a woman's brain. I am not surprised that I have a female spirit abiding inside me now. The One who watches over the universe is very good at keeping the details of the metaphysical world in order. How would you feel if I were to come back to work as a woman?"
"I'd welcome you with open arms. You are my friend and nothing will change that, Gerrie."
"Well it will be Gerald who comes back to work this time. I'm not quite ready to face the world yet as a woman, I know I will have to eventually but I'd like to delay the inevitable for as long as I can."
"Either way, I'll do all I can to make your return easy for you. John sends his best for a speedy recovery."
"How are things at work?"
"It's a bit busy since there are less of us to do what needs to be done. Reyna has recalled both of our site inspectors, Brandy and Harold back to the office and they are filling in to get everything done."
"How are Brandy and Harold?"
"Brandy's diet seems to be working. She's dropped 20 pounds since we last saw her. Harold is as ornery as ever. I think that by the definition of male chauvinist pig is his picture in the dictionary. Reyna is holding things together by sheer force of will."
"Sounds like a regular three ring circus."
"It just about is. I will be really glad when you are able to come back to work."
"Thanks, Celesta. It's nice to have even more confirmation of what I already knew for when I come back."
"You are welcome, Gerrie. Guess I should be getting back to work."
"Celesta, I am so glad that you came to visit, Give my regards to everyone at the office."
"I will Gerrie. Take care and come back to us soon!"
Celesta left my room and I knew that I had done the right thing in telling her that I was destined to become a woman outwardly since my surgery had rendered me one mentally.
Immediately I was back taking tests again till they were all completed. I finished up just before supper. I was very pleased that Grace arrived just after the supper trays were delivered. There were two of them again like breakfast, with the second tray ordered again by Dr Johansen for Grace.
"How did things go with meeting Dr Drake today, Grace?"
"She's not really happy about you wanting to go so soon. She'll be here soon for the meeting that I scheduled with her earlier."
"I'm not surprised that she's not thrilled about it. I believe that we need to bring Dr Drake in on our plans so that she can understand the urgency that I get out of here."
"With Doctor - Patient confidentiality, it should be okay. I still have reservations about widening the number of people who know about this since any breach would direct action against you when you are very vulnerable."
"It's a risk but one that is worth taking so that all the work that I've done so far is not in vein. I've already taken Dr Johansen into my confidence so she won't misinterpret my wanting to maintain the illusion of masculinity for a bit longer as not being willing to do what it takes so I can fit in as a woman since I know that is in my best interest and the only way I will be happy going forward."
"Of course you had to do that, Gerrie. I'm glad that Dr Johansen is in the loop. Perhaps we cam use that to our advantage and get her to vouch for your desire to be released without having to reveal the details to Dr Drake. I'll call her and invite her to help at the meeting."
"What a wonderful idea, Grace! Thanks."
Grace called Erika and she was free to come meet with us now, fortunately. Erika agreed to vouch for my need to leave ASAP so that our secret need not be revealed any further.
It seemed that all of the Doctors arrived at the same time, Dr Drake and Dr Johansen, we knew and there was another Doctor, whose name plate said Dr Linda Russell, MD Endocrinologist that Grace and I didn't know.
"Greetings all. I'm happy to see you here, Dr Johansen. May I present, Dr Linda Russell. She's an endocrinologist and I've asked her to consult with me on your case, Gerrie. Linda, this is Gerrie Mercer and her friend and holder of her durable power of attorney Grace Brooks."
"I'm glad to meet you, Gerrie and Grace. I look forward to helping Gerrie with her special situation." .
"Thank you Dr Russell. I need all the help I can get."
"I'm glad to meet you as well Dr Russell. Your reputation goes before you and I am sure that Gerrie is in good hands."
"I too am glad that you are on Gerrie's case and I look forward to working with you as Gerrie begins her journey, Linda."
"Thank you, Erika. Gerrie, I would like to start HRT immediately. It will be a while before any physical changes are apparent. The benefit in starting now is that it would help stabilize the chemistry in your new brain configuration which is now female."
"Gerrie, has been given full disclosure concerning HRT. I agree that starting it now is prudent and I approve it as well."
"I'll be supervising your HRT, regulating your dosages, and making sure that your medical condition is monitored so we can make any adjustments needed.".
"I look forward to starting that. Does that require that I be a constant in patient at the hospital?"
"Not at all although you will need to return at intervals to administer the HRT shots and do the required testing."
"That's good. Dr Erika will confirm that information I have given her in confidence compels me to leave the hospital ASAP."
"I agree that Gerrie has a compelling reason to return to work. Her window of opportunity is shrinking since her unfinished business compels her to present as though she were a man for as long as she can to accomplish her goals."
"I am against this plan but I can't stop you from signing yourself out of the hospital. Based on Erika's assertion, I'll do my best to get you ready to do this since you'll do it anyway."
"Thank you for your help, Dr Drake. I'll be signing myself out in the morning so I can get back to work."
"I'll do my best to help you be able to to cope physically with what you intend to do. I guess there is nothing more to say. I hope that you will not ignore the schedule that Dr Linda Russell will give to you for your monitoring since your very life may depend on your compliance."
"I will comply with the schedule Dr Russell sets."
"I guess that concludes our business tonight. I'll send orders so that you will be as able as you can be to leave the hospital tomorrow."
"Thank you Dr Drake."
To say that Dr Drake was displeased with me, was an understatement. However, having Erika here helped her see that I would not be dissuaded from carrying out my plan. Everyone left one by one until finally Grace and I said our good nights. I settled in for my last night's sleep at the hospital.
I managed to get myself checked out of the hospital without much problem. Grace was a dear and used her power of attorney to get things pushed thru so I did not have to exert myself. She came thru the door with a signed release form to give to the nurse's station and a complete change of clothes that she had retrieved from my home since mine had been rendered unwearable due to my heart attack.
"Gerald, here is the change of clothes that you asked me to bring. I'll deliver your release papers to the nurse's station while you get dressed."
"Whoa, Grace! Since when did you start calling me, Gerald?"
:"Since my new girl friend has to pretend she's a man. I've put out the word to everyone at work who was going to start following my example and call you Gerrie to instead keep calling you Gerald. For you it can be a reminder not to slip out of the male persona that you'll be portraying. I've told them that you want to make sure you have to transition so you are attempting to see if you can keep up the male persona. Otherwise, as understanding as the girls in the office are, they would have you in skirts for your own good so fast it would make your head swim."
"Point well taken, Grace. Thank you for calling me, Gerald. That was a good catch letting them think this was about my male pride instead of letting the cat out of the bag about my undercover assignment. I'm already slipping a bit with my word choices. I can't even relax for real when I walk anymore since my walk is becoming more feminine without any body changes yet."
"How are you doing when you take control of your actions instead of relaxing?"
"I am acting completely masculine when I concentrate on what I do and say. I'm going to finish up as soon as I can. I never realized what a load of poo that all that macho act that men do is in reality till my change in perspective, How did you put up with me, Grace?" I seemed like I just had to cry right then and Grace let me get it out and then offered me tissue to clean myself up again.
"You never were as bad as the other guys. I would have suspected you were gay, but I knew better. I never would have suspected that you had a tumor covering up a woman's brain. I guess with that as an advantage, you were able to counteract part of the macho doo doo that the tumor was sending your way. Gerald, go ahead and get dressed, We can talk more later."
"Thanks, Grace, I'll get dressed then open my room door when I'm ready."
"Bye, Gerald." Grace left and closed the room door behind her. I had already showered and put on clean underwear, I took off the clean hospital gown and began to put my business suit on.. It usually wasn't that formal in the office but I tended to dress a bit less casual so that I could fit in with the managers that I took my breaks with. Even Grace had a smart olive green business suit with jacket, and matching skirt with a delicious cream shell underneath, on this morning. We were going to have our required Sexual Harassment briefing this morning. We expected several VIP's from other state government departments in attendance since our briefing was designated a makeup session for any who had missed it when it was held in their departments. Soon I was sharp looking as everything was exactly where it was supposed to be, at least for the male persona that I was portraying. Somehow, I wished that I was wearing something like Grace was wearing to fit in with the women, except I could not do that. Yet!
I opened the door and Grace was waiting with a hospital transport attendant who had a wheel chair waiting for me so I sat and was settled. My belongings were on a duffle on the bed which Grace collected and sat in my lap. We were about to get going when Dr Drake motioned for the attendant to stop and she came closer to speak with Grace and I.
"Gerald, Please don't cut corners with the instructions that I have left on the discharge order. In spite of your determination to finish what ever it is that is so important, I am counting on your recuperative ability to get you thru the aftermath of your surgery. On this card is my private telephone number which only my immediate family have access. I expect that if anything unusual comes up that you will contact me immediately and let me decide if it is significant. I am determined to give you the best chance of recovery in spite of yourself." She handed me the card which I immediately put in my suit coat's inside pocket for safe keeping.
"Thank you, Dr Drake. I appreciate your help and concern. I will follow orders so hopefully all will go well but if something come up, I will call you as you asked. Thank you for providing total access to me for this occasion."
"That's all I had to say. Watch over him, Grace, Good Luck, Gerald!"
Both Grace and I thanked Dr Drake and we were on our way, The transport assistant took us out a secret way where a cab was waiting to take both Grace and I to the office. We made small talk in the cab since there was so much secrecy going on right then and for the first time, we were out of an environment where what we said would be ignored out of patient privilege.
Upon arriving at work, Grace took me straight to Reyna Langston, the attorney who was the department's supervisor's office. Grac e handed a packet of papers to Reyna and she indicated to us that we should be seated.
"Gerald, It's so good to see you up and about after your heart attack and other medical complications!"
"Thank you, Reyna. I am very glad to be out of the hospital." Reyna glanced over the papers that she was presented by Grace.
"This final paperwork is substantially what you faxed to me last night, Grace, Thank you for being so efficient, Your attention to detail really has sped up processing Gerald's situation. "
"You are welcome, Reyna. I wanted to keep you completely in the loop. And what about that other matter that I gave you that hypothetical about?"
"Gerald, Grace gave me a hypothetical situation. I feel as if I would be willing to take you on as a client to advise you concerning what should be disclosed officially and when. Since you can never take back a disclosure, and it is best to be very selective as to the information and the timing of release in this situation. The department has information update forms which I will advise you when and what to disclose to the department as this develops."
"Excellent, Reyna. I suggest we finish up our off the record discussion before time for work to begin and you have to take off your lawyer hat and put on your supervisor hat."
"Gerald, off the record, once you do disclose and start your transition, I will make it as easy as possible within the department, However I have no control of what ever restrictions that the facility supervisor may impose as well as the state government,: I've spoken to Veronica off the record. She seems like she will be very supportive. I understand Celeste came to see you yesterday."
"She did. Did you know that she reads auras?"
"Yes, really! She compared my aura before the surgery and descried it as virile. When she observed it yesterday, she said that it's becoming very feminine. She seemed okay with it. I guess the verdict is in with the MRI and now my aura, I really am a woman, now for the rest of my life."
"Well it looks like you will be a sheep in wolf's clothing for a while, Gerald. I hope that things work out for you, to complete what ever it is that is so important that you checked yourself out of the hospital instead of using that in patent time to jumpstart your transition."
"I really need to put my life in order, visit friends, that sort of thing. Even with the new acceptance of Harry Benjamin Syndrome, the word transsexual still has a bit of a sting and stigma attached to it. Even with these times being better than anything previous, I have a feeling that some of those will turn out to be goodbyes, regardless"
I hadn't thought a lot about the excuse that I was putting my life in order as though I were about to die. In some ways, it would be exactly like that. I couldn't help but cry a bit as the emotion welled up within me. Perhaps, I should really get in touch with everyone while I was out, just in case.
"There, there now, sweetie" Grace comforted me and handed me a tissue to dry my eyes when I had cried my self out. I composed myself as best that I could.
"The emotions come so freely now. I'm going to have to do my best to control them if my ruse as Gerald is going to work. I'm just glad that this was in private so no harm's done.
"I for one will be glad when you do feel your old life is in order and you get down to creating your new life. I'm going to be glad to get to know the new you, whom I feel will have the best of what you have always been plus a few surprises given to you from your new life. Please pay very close attention to the briefing. From your old perspective, you would be focusing on how to make sure your social interactions were understood clearly and were wanted. From your new perspective, you should try to learn how to avoid being a victim by being very firm when something doesn't feel right and how to deal with the situation if you become a victim."
"I'm afraid that you are right. Even with things changing, there is still a very powerful male privilege that makes things difficult which is misused criminally in these sexual harassment situations. Is it wrong of me to try to hold on to that male privilege a bit longer to get done what needs to be done?"
Reyna turned to me and held my hand as though it were girl to girl. "A girl needs to use everything that she can to get things done. Gerrie, you are going to have to find a way to get things done without male privilege, in the long run"
"Thank you, Reyna. You are right and I will pay attention at the briefing. So much for me to do and to learn. I hope that I am equal to the task"
"If anyone can do it , you can, Gerald. Time to get your game face on!" Grace really encouraged me and prompted me that I could no longer let down my guard. We three looked thru the window into the office commons and saw a number of men walk in and gather by the coffee pot.
"That's right, Gerald. That's your crowd out there and I expect that you will want to be joining them until the briefing starts. Our consultation is concluded. Grace, I have some thing to discuss with you, if you'll stay a moment. Welcome back to work, Gerald!"
"Thank you, Reyna!" I exited Reyna's office with Grace shifting into the closer seat I had occupied for her one on one conversation with Reyna.
I summoned the memory of the person that I had been and proudly walked out to greet the men with whom I had shared a camaraderie. On command, my 'Gerald' persona came to the forefront and took control at my direction while I sat back and took in each detail.
As I expected, my boss's boss, James Thornton, came forward first, and greeted me with a bit more decorum than the rest since I was in his indirect oversight.
"Hello, Gerald! It's nice to see you up and around! I admire your dedication to work that you wouldn't even let a heart attack keep you away."
"Thank you, Mr. Thornton. It's good to be back at work"
Near him was Ned Somersby who ran at the same mid level management, the Maintenance department.
"Hi Gerald! Take care of yourself, Man! Thorny would be lost without you translating woman speak from all the skirts in his domain"
How dare he speak of my friends like that! Instead of the tongue lashing I wanted to dish out to Ned, I simply smiled big and gave him a firm handshake.
"You've got it , Man!"
With Ned, flanking him was Carl Sanders (projects), Ivan Allen (Materials Storage), and Lester Maddox (Heavy Equipment), who were at the same level as Reyna occupied on the organizational chart.
"Yo, Gerald, How're they hangin'" was Carl's greeting. I wonder what he would have said to a straight answer. My nipples had barely started budding due to the hormones and at Carl's good wholesome country boy looks seemed to harden. I must be bi.
"Same as always and ready for anything, Carl"
"Gerald, my man, take it easy chasing those lovelies around the office. It's not worth dieing over!"
"Oh, but Ivan, it is worth it!"
"Careful tiger, you have to at least do a better job covering it up. You wouldn't want to become part of the next Sexual Harassment Extravaganza!"
I couldn't do anything remotely like those cads in the training videos. It hurt more than I thought to play along even for effect.
"Les, you just have to be smart enough not to get caught!" I grinned at him and let out a rebel whoop and all the men joined in with me.
I wanted to gag but I couldn't. Collectively these five men were the people that I spent my breaks and meals with since I had been working at this division of the Georgia Department of Transportation office. There was another office located elsewhere for political purposes that held the new construction and planning arms of the organization.
A couple of men, who were clearly VIP's walked in. I recognized one as Chad Duran, the Georgia Secretary of Transportation and the other as Jacob Thornton, the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Yes, Jacob was James's older brother. Nepotism is alive and well in the state of Georgia. There were a number of other new faces who were congregating in another area of the reception area of the office. A lot of those newcomers were men but they held either the same level or lower position than I had and kept "Their Place."
"Jacob, this is my right hand man in the Outdoor Signage Department, Gerald Mercer. Gerald, this is the honorable Jacob Thornton, Lieutenant Governor of the great state of Georgia, and a great big brother to me."
I reached out and took Jacob's hand with a firm handshake. I had already been in a group several times with Jacob present but this was my first formal introduction to him.
"Hello, Gerald. Best wishes for your recovery from your heart attack. James tells me good things about you. It's a shame that you don't have the title to go with the great job you are doing. A man deserves that job. We'll just see what we can do about that. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"It's a pleasure to meet you as well, Mr. Lieutenant Governor,"
James directed me toward the other man to make introductions
"Chad, this is Gerald Mercer, whom you've heard about his great work for us. Gerald this is Mr. Chadwick Duran, Secretary of Transportation for the State of Georgia."
"Hello, Gerald. I agree with Jacob that you should be paid a man's wage and I will be glad to see a man in that position. Its a pleasure to meet you."
"It's a pleasure to meet you too, Mr. Duran. I am glad to do my best and uphold the best traditions of southern men!"
"Well said, Gerald. You've done well, James, taking him under your care. He clearly knows where his loyalties lie."
My loyalty of course was to the truth and the people these men were hurting with their corruption, I guess that I was being a good actress if the contempt that I felt in my heart wasn't showing on my face. The attention that the group had on me with the well wishes and introductions quickly turned to focus on Grace who had just left Reyna's office and were headed toward us or rather toward me.
"Pipe those gams!"
"Love to have those lips wrapped around my dick!"
"What a delicious fuck!"
I was about to go on overload and take them all out being thankful I still had the strength and body of a man to do it. Fortunately when she came within earshot the comments ceased except one from James and a response from Lester.
"Don't bother, man! She's a lezzie. She hasn't got a clue how to treat a man right."
"I could force myself on her and she'd be crying out for more."
Thankfully my torment at playing my part came to a halt when Gloria stopped in front of me with a sweet smile on her face. I could tell that she was projecting with her eyes, 'What Assholes!' and yet the men around me didn't get it and only appreciated her smile.
"Gerald, It's time to report to work. I thought that we could walk together to meet the other girls in the department before the presentation."
I was about to answer her but James interrupted me. "Gloria, please direct on my authority, Miss Reyna to count Gerald, present and on time for work on her report. Gerald will be staying with us and sitting with us during the presentation . Is that clear, Gloria?"
"Yes, Mr. Thornton. I'll convey your directive to Reyna. Good bye, Gerald!"
Gloria's overt look she shot me was full of disdain and betrayal, while with her eyes, she showed amusement and wished me good luck. I wondered how much information that I had been missing as a reporter prior to my surgery that became very clear now. The poor SOB's would never know what hit them. I was glad of a little fun being a sheep in wolf's clothing which helped calm me from the fury I had experienced over their poor treatment of my friend .
"My conference room is over there, Gentlemen if you would care to wait there for the presentation to begin."
"Lead the way, Brother, I am anxious to sit down and continue our conversation in private."
We all gathered around the conference table after helping ourselves to the continental breakfast provided. Once we were all seated, it surprised me what luck I had in taking the seat between Jacob and James.
"I have a little something for you, brother." James took a briefcase revealed to be full of money when it was opened and passed it to Jacob. I caught in really amazing video for such a small camera the whole transaction, including great shots of the documents inside with the actions that were expected of the recipient of the money.
Jacob began passing out bundles of hundreds to each man seated at the table according to his management level. When it came my turn, instead of passing out a bundle of money to me, Jacob instead spoke to me.
"Gerald, you have proven yourself trustworthy. You deserve a cut of this and you will have it. However instead of taking it in cash like the others, I have something else in mind. It's downright inconvenient not having you formally in the chain of command. You'll be taking over Reyna's job and there will be a bonus in your pay equal to what the others your new level have gotten. You'll learn to stash your cash in a manner that won't arouse suspicions but for now, since we can we'll make your first payoff above board . How does that sound to you, Gerald?"
"Thank you Mr. Thornton! That sounds fantastic! I won't betray your trust."
"You had better not , Gerald and belay that Mr. Thornton when it's just us its Jacob. James can set you straight on how to keep your payoffs untraceable before another deal comes thru that we can't hide with another bonus."
"Thank you, Jacob!" Jacob closed and locked the briefcase after putting the contents from his own briefcase and a false bottom in to cover up the remaining contents.
"Once you have the authority, you will get some instructions and I expect you to carry them out without question using those talents that James is always raving about."
"The program is about to start. We should all go down to the cafeteria to take our seats. The tattletale who is taking attendance isn't with our group so we have to be in place so that we aren't hounded by her anymore about this."
"Lead on, Brother!"
We filed out of the conference room and into the cafeteria where we sat at tables which were arranged so that everyone had a good look at the stage area with the wide screen at the front . The chairs which would be facing away from the front if they were underneath the table had been turned around so that everyone was facing the same way. The group of men that I was included in, took a seat at one of the tables in the rear of the room.
The presentation started with a film. you know the kind if you have ever been in a sexual harassment presentation. When others couldn't hear there were lewd comments punctuating the film like in MS3K from the others.
The lights came up and we turned our chairs around to face the table. Each of us were presented a workbook with a practice test at the end to answer questions relating to the video we had just seen. I was able to fade into the background while the others were trying to impress the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary of Transportation with how they were running their departments. It gave me a chance to inwardly celebrate the fact that this would soon be all over. I had the pay off on video and now I only needed to blow up the images of the documents to read the directives and use the state's computer system to document evidence that a quid pro quo had occurred with the directive being carried out.
It amused me at no end that it had taken me becoming a woman to finally make it as one of the good ol' boys.
We viewed the film on Sexual Harassment and there were several situations portrayed where we either saw the right or wrong way to handle the situation. However it seemed that most of the Good Ol Boys had things reversed in their minds of what was right and wrong..
The facilitator called time and gave us our next task in the workbook after the practice test. Our task was to come up with a skit to illustrate the aspect of the policy that we were assigned.
I guess I should not have been surprised by the group’s reaction to a group exercise to present a skit portraying a right response to sexual harassment in the workplace. Ivan, Carl and Lester sunk to new lows in my eyes as their comments hurt my ears to listen to them.
"It’s time to turn the tables on those feminists by showing them in the same light that they try to portray us."
"A man can’t help but satisfy his needs! Those girls are just asking for it and we deserve what we can get!"
"I’d love to turn the tables on them but how are we going to do that? I hope you don’t think one of us is going to be a fag to be the bait. I don’t want to even think about what that would mean for the rest of us."
"Thorny" sunk lower than my previous estimation of him by his take on how to objectify women by trying to make sexual harassment seem like their fault.
"Nothing like that was what I had in mind. We have to portray one of those feminists if this is to work against them. The little power they do have makes them masculine bitches. Someone has to take one for the team and it’s time for our newest member to start pulling his weight. Gerald you’ll be the one who plays the bitch."
I being the junior member of the all boys club landed the job of being the female victim of harassment. Surprise, Surprise! I hated to do it like the others expected me, very camp and man in a dress, all for comedy instead of being respectful of women. I played along, since I could not do anything to upset the position I had worked so hard to get into in order to get the story.
"I’ll do it. It should be fun to stick it to them."
I was doing a lot of gagging on the words that I had to say to keep this deception going. Ned must have been a little worried about what he might have to do, since his face was pale as though all of the blood had left it.
"So what have you got in mind for the rest of us?"
Chad had a twisted grin on his face as he seemed to take up right where "Thorhy" had left off as though he was compelled to elaborate on the plan, making it more contmeptable.
"We all will be victims of her sexual harassment so we’ll just have to do the right thing and overpower her and put her in her place knocking her all the way down to keeping our coffee cups filled and keeping quiet the way she ought to be."
Taking command of the situations, Lt Gov. Jacob Thornton voiced what he took as the only flaw in the plan. I wasn't quite ready for what he had to say.
"In order for this to work, Gerald’s got to be convincing as a woman."
I was really hoping that the snag that the Lt Gov raised would put a halt to "Thorny's" plan. Unfortunatly, "Chad" had a solution that Jacob agreed would work.
"I’ve got just the thing. I usually just get a whore for the out of town guys to have their way with but this one guy had a thing for she males. The one that I dug up just was starting out so I had to get 'it' presentable. They came with everything and had it done in no time. I could call and take care of it."
"Do that! I’ll get our presentation put off till the end which should give us plenty of time to write a great skit and do a run thru after Gerald looks the part."
"I can save time by getting Gerald started. I still have some of the stuff that they used on 'it' first. Gerald, it’s time I showed you the executive washroom."
I didn’t know which I was more afraid of. Being turned into a caricature of a woman or the words that they would put in my mouth as they attempted to turn the tables on the women who were trying to get those reprobates to do right. I sheepishly followed him to the Executive Washroom. This was not the context that I had ever envisioned entering that perk of perks that government workers should not have but in explicably did possess.. What they were trying to do was use me as their tool to put them in their place. Even before becoming a woman, that’s not anything I would have done. Now it was especially repulsive to be used like this. I hoped that in the end taking them all down would be worth the high cost I was paying to be in their circle. Well now 'Chad' was on the phone and hoped that I could stand what he was about to have done to me.
"... And that’s what I need and I need it now. Excellent, I’ll have our victim bathed and the solution that you left from the last time applied. I’ll expect you in 15 minutes."
There was a private area off the main washroom which had a huge sunken tub with jacuzzi in it. I was instructed by 'Chad' to bathe in the water that was fixed for me which was saturated with a chemical that he took from a locked storage closet. The brief look I had at the interior showed me flashes of all manner of fetish gear being stored there.
"Just take a nice long soak in the water and when you come out you’ll be a new man."
"Alright. I agreed to do this but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I want this over as soon as possible."
"Somethings just take time and this is something we want to be right since we may not get a chance like this for a while to stick it to them."
I disrobed knowing that the solution provided must be something to both remove my body hair and condition my skin in preparation for the larger work in turning me into their idea of a woman for the skit. Part of me embraced it secretly because it would be bringing the body closer to congruence with my new mind. Part of me was repulsed since I knew that when I came out, I would be transformed into some caricature of a woman that would use me to demean all the women present. Part was shear terror that I would lose my self control and yield to being the woman I really was now and I would be found out.
After about 10 minutes I heard voices coming toward the door which soon became discernible.
"... in soaking in your custom solution for 10 minutes now. For the skit, Gerald needs to have a hot body. Dress him and make him up as slutty as possible stretching the premise of a business woman to its absolute limit."
"Yes, Sir! I’ll work my magic on him. I’ll go in now and get started. Gerald, It’s Susan Hartwell, and I’m coming in as you are. We have too little time to deal with modesty so that will have to be dispensed with for the time being."
She came in and got right to work by having me get out still nude and patting myself dry. My skin was all so soft and hairless as though it were a real woman’s skin. She had me get up on the massage table that she pulled out from somewhere. From her ease at finding it, it was obvious that her services had been used several times by now. She deftly applied appliances which gave me a realistic woman’s breasts, hips and bottom and similarly applied a special appliance which gave me a head of hair that reached down to my back to my waist. All were secured by some kind of adhesive and all the edges hidden with some sort of makeup.
It all led to the result that I now appeared to be some kind of nude model out from the pages of Playboy. I was given some kind of extreme fetish version of a women’s suit with a bare midriff, deeply plunging neckline and ultra short skirt.
I got a look at the price tag and winced at the figure which was astronomical even compared to ordinary women’s clothing. How could something which had so little material, cost so much? Susan did my makeup in a very slutty way which matched the slutty appearance of my clothes and all the accessories.
I had long fingernails attached which were more like press on nails than acrylics which could be painful to apply and remove. The finishing touch to give me the figure that they wanted was a corset that pulled my waist in to what I thought was an inpossible degree. As I was shown the progress so far in the mirror, I could not believe the big breasted narrow waisted, big hipped, undoubtably female, girl in the mirror was realy me.
I projected just the image that they wanted for me. Susan gave me a brief lesson on moving around in the 4 inch stiletto heels as well as some pointers in playing the kind of woman that they wanted me to be. She gave me a final word before excusing herself to get back to what ever they had interrupted to get her here for this.
"I’ll be back after the skit, to get you out of this costume and remove all of the additions to get your body back to what it was before this started. You’ll have to grow out your body hair again but other than that, there’s nothing that I have done to you which can’t be put right."
"Thank you, Susan. You’ve made something which could have been difficult, become very easy. I will so look forward to seeing you to put me back together."
'Chad' met us outside the door and was ready to escort me back to the others.
"Susan, you’ve outdone yourself! Even the hairstyle screams slut! He’ll do nicely to accomplish what we wish for the skit. Thank you. You’ll have your payment made in the usual way. You can proceed as planned ."
"Thank you, Sir."
Susan disappeared round a corner and we went the other way back to the others who had relocated back to the conference room where the finishing touches had been put on the skit, I was announced by 'Chad' to the others as we entered.
"Gentlemen, may I present our featured performer, Bambi!"
There was a chorus of wolf whistles and lewd comments. As much as I might have liked my beauty appreciated, deep down, to be leered at by the assembled leeches was very humiliating especially as I had to step right into the slutty character they cast me as in order for them not be able to tell that even the way that I appeared now was so much closer to what I really was than was the case ordinarily. The rehearsal went smoothly and I hated every second of it. Evidently, I was a better actress than even I suspected since I was both able to portray the slut they had cast me as and also that they could not detect the contempt that I really had for being placed in that situation.
I was able to watch the last few skits before ours from a closed circuit feed of the festivities that was being shared both real time and would be available to be viewed on DVD after the fact. I was glad to see that at least they were portraying some useful information since our performance would not have any redeeming qualities. Finally it was our turn and we presented our skit. It had so much of a shock value that instead of being heckled, we played to dead quiet as those who were in attendance were to shocked at how far outside decency our performance ran. Even though our skit played lip service to the rules, and they really couldn't disqualify us since it did, it was a travesty both to the subject and to women being played for comedy the entire time. Had our group not included the Lieutenant Governor, we would have been taken to task for it but male privilege gave us a bye this time.
It was even worse than being on stage as I came back with the group to our table. I was being stared at but thankfully not confronted since I was sure that I would have lost it. The seminar concluded with taking a multiple guess exam which was fairly easy since none of the alternate answers even remotely applied. There were different sets of tests given out to each table and I wondered if we had received an extra easy version on purpose. After all the media would have a field day if the Lieutenant Governor or Secretary of Transportation failed the test.
Finally we all were treated to a wonderful lunch. It was even more difficult for me since there was so much attention on me that I had to play up the ‘Man in a Dress’ aspect which was even more of a performance than when I was on stage. The day's festivities were just about over, or so I thought..
I was ready to get out of my clownish costume and back into my regular clothes and appearance in order to get back to work. Unfortunately it wasn’t until I had discovered that the woman who was supposed to meet me in the Executive Washroom to reverse the process was no where to be found. It was obvious to me that when someone came along to explain to me that the woman who had transformed me had been called away unexpectedly and had not left any of the solvent needed to release me from the additions that gave me the appearance of a woman. This was obviously some initiation stunt aimed at more fun at my expense and to further stick it to the women who had hated the person that I had portrayed in the skit.
Fortunately I was able to make my way without encountering anyone to my department and collapsed into my seat at my desk.
"Gerrie, why are you still like that?"
"The joke’s on me, I guess. The woman who transformed me is no where to be found and what she added to give me a woman’s appearance can’t be removed without some special solvent."
"You could cope with that, while its just us girls if you were looking a bit more normal?"
"The additions by themselves are comforting in a way. It’s just what they did with the result that I can’t take."
"The ladies and I can pool our resources to make you presentable. We can do that much without blowing your cover because that is what they would expect us to do to mitigate the offense to us. What they can’t know is that what they meant to totally be humiliating is who you really are now."
The ladies indeed worked their magic on me and with a new hairstyle, clothing and makeup, I fit right in. I relaxed and let be what was and enjoyed my self. Not as much as if this body of mine was real thru and thru but enough so that I was closer to the image of what I eventually would have to be than I was in my now male camouflage style.
We got advanced notice that I was being summoned, so both I and the ladies assumed the posturing that would have occurred if what I had done had reflected my real state of mind concerning the skit. I had to put on that I was chagrined at even the prospect of looking like a normal woman while the ladies appeared to delight in my apparent discomfort to being "One of the Girls." 'Chad' showed up at my desk and started what might be a private conversation in a very public manner.
"We were able to locate the woman who transformed you and she will be able to remove all the enhancements that she made. If you will come with me to the Executive Washroom, she’ll take care of putting you right."
"Thank you! I will be so glad to get rid of all of this and going back to my normal appearance."
With out a further delay, we went back to the Executive Washroom. I was very relieved to find Susan waiting for me.
"I’m so sorry for bailing on you, Gerald. I had to get back to what I was doing before they called me and this is the first chance that I had to get back to you. I like what your department mates did to alter your look. The slutty look may have been what the skit required but I could tell your heart wasn’t in it. Of course your heart isn’t in this either. Wanna go get turned back into yourself?"
"More than anything, Susan. Thank you for getting back to me as soon as you could."
The anxiousness which showed on my face towards being transformed back to a man did not reflect the true intent of my heart. Even the slutty look was closer to who I really am now except for the words and actions the skit constrained me to say.
Susan without further delay undid everything that she had done to my body except what that bath had done. When Susan had finished with me, she sent me to take another ordinary bath to remove the rest of the signs remaining of what had been done to me. She disappeared once I was in the water and all seemed well. I was able to finish things up and being satisfied that all was well, got out and patted myself dry and put on the clothes again that I had removed which completed my outward appearance of being a man once again.
As I wondered thru the hall putting more distance between me and the Executive Washroom, I almost literally ran into Grace who was waiting for me.
"Hold up there, Gerrie. I can tell you are really looking forward to getting away from that bunch of ass holes. Don’t forget you have to go by the Hospital after work to be checked out. I don’t want anything happening to you now after all you have been thru."
"I am ready to leave since this has been a long and eventful day, Grace. Let’s go"
Grace led the way to her car and we drove directly over to the Hospital. We had been instructed for me to go thru the ER to get my treatment since they had the kind of equipment room available to do the monitoring the Doctor wanted done in the wake of my traumatic stay in the hospital. We waited for a little while and then finally it was time for my shot and exam. .
Dr Linda Russell had me taken out of the waiting room and into one of the monitoring bays. She gave Nurse Janine orders concerning the medication she had prescribed for me.
Nurse Janine was there to set me up on all the monitoring that Dr Drake had ordered for me. She had me on a heart monitor as well as automatically taking my BP, Blood Oxygen Level, Respiration and Pulse. She also had me hooked up to a EEG to monitor my brain waves.
In addition they had inserted an IV in my arm. Nurse Janine gave me my HRT shots thru that IV. In addition there was also some kind of cocktail dreamed up by the Jaime's Hope Foundation in preparation for the special project that they were in the process of making preparations.
I smiled when Wendy came into the room to see to my comfort, Absent all of the people that I had leaned to trust and appreciate, this would have been a more difficult experience. I was glad that everyone was back together to give me their TLC again. I was guessing this was more of Dr Erika's attention to detail and I wondered when she might look in on me
The tangle of wires and tubes went every which way. I found myself wishing for something like the diagnostic bed in Star Trek instead of having all of that paraphernalia to diagnose and treat me. Medicine had come a long way and at least even if it was a way bit cruder, a lot of the dream functions of that diagnostic bed were available now even if they were not transparent to the patient.
Diagnostic imaging however had to be done in another place so I was to be wheeled down, bed and all to get an MRI Unfortunately I never got that procedure done, because it would have told the rest of the story that was being hinted at in my vital signs.
It started with a severe pain that started with my head and then radiated thru out my body. I happened to be looking at the EEG which was monitoring my brain waves and those spiked as the pain hit me and I saw them trail off as I slipped out of consciousness. The last things that I heard as everything was going blank was Wendy's voice, "She's having a seizure." and Nurse Janine responding, "Page Dr Drake! Stat!"
Dr Drake was waiting for me to wake apparently. She was the first person that I saw after opening my eyes. I wondered how long I had been out this time.
"I am so glad that you are awake, Gerrie. Now you know why that you checking yourself out was against my better judgment You are one stubborn person. Was it worth it? Did you get done that thing that was so important to you.?"
Doctor Drake looked positively livid and angry at me. Here I had just gone through all that abuse by the Good Ol' Boys, Almost Dying yet again, and all she could do is scold me with an I told you so. Were I the person before the heart attack, I would have just 'taken it like a man.' That's what I wanted to do but instead I could not help myself, I just started crying and crying. I couldn't stop!
I could no longer see what was going on, I was crying so. I heard snatches of the conversation to follow but eventually I ended up with my head rested against Nurse Janine's breasts. The odd thing was that I did not feel anything sexual at all to be in such an intimate embrace. What I did feel was comfort and peace. as though just being held made it alright. Even when I ceased crying, I couldn't utter a word. I could see what I had perceived was true that Nurse Janine had shooed Dr Drake away. When Nurse Janine saw that I couldn't speak but was under emotional control again, She brought in dry erase board. That seemed to work since I could understand what she was saying to me and could write reasonably well even though I couldn't speek yet.
Together the two of us worked thru things so that I ended up reasonably comfortable. I had a turn at the bed pan to take care of those needs and a snack was brought up from the hospital cafeteria to let me refresh myself. Finally it just all came back and I just started speaking again like nothing had happened to me.
"Goodness, nurse that was wierd! Thank you for taking care of me. "
"It was my pleasure, Gerrrie. If you had any doubts about you being a woman, that crying jag should convince you. You reacted to that just like I or any other woman would, I'm glad I was able to help you. I don't know why Doctor Drake was so mean to you."
"I know Doctor Drake was just being human in spite of scolding me. She has taken very good care of me. I guess you should let her know that I'm ready to answer for what I've done. The sooner that I face her, the sooner that I get on the road to recovery. Could you let her know that I would like to speak to her?"
"Of Course, Gerrie. I'll see to it. You must really want to see Grace."
"Well the sooner that Doctor Drake evaluates me, the sooner that she'll let me have visitors. Thank you Nurse."
'You are welcome!" Nurse Janine left and after a while, Doctor Drake came back.
"I am so sorry for upsetting you, Gerrie. I should have known better than to scold you after all that you have been thru. Can you forgive me."
"Of course, Doctor! Thank you for pulling me thru in spite of myself. I promise not to pull anything like that again. I got done everything that I could. I guess there is nothing to it but to let it get out that I'm really a woman."
"I'm glad that there is no longer the urgency to get back there. I hope that you will stay put till I actually release you this time."
"I'll stay put this time until you feel like I'm ready to go. Since I'm approved now for rehabilitation toward my new gender expression, I hope to get as much work done toward that as I can while I am here."
"I'm glad that you are ready to be a patient again since you do need to take it easy for a while. Otherwise you'll repeat even more severely the seizure that put you right back here. Under these controlled conditions, there is a lot that you can do toward your rehabilitation. I'll approve everything that you will be physically able to do towards your rehabilitation. Does that mean that you are ready to begin your immersion in your rehabilitation 24/7?"
"Yes, I am ready to begin life as a woman 24 / 7."
"I'll get with your Endocrinologist, Dr Russell, concerning coordinating what you'll need with what you are capable of as time goes on."
"Is there anything that I can get done while I am recouping in the hospital now?"
"From what I can predict, we can get you your body sculpting excluding breast reconstruction, Skin resurfacing with hair removal, and FFS done now that you have a brain scan confirmation of your female gender. You can continue your HRT as well with a few restrictions. If you are with us long enough we might even manage to get your breast augmentation and SRS if it is signed off on with significant sessions with your therapist to permit her to sign off on those procedures. That special project that I've heard mentioned in connection with your case would have to wait until you can leave this hospital since it is an experimental procedure that can only realistically be done in their own facility."
"That sounds promising. Why do I have to have a therapist sign off on the rest of it before that can be done?"
"Even though the brain scan confirms your medical condition, just how much extra work you'll need won't be apparent until the effects of HRT can be evaluated. Therapy during that time helps with the adjustment to the new gender as well as providing time for a confirming diagnosis based on psychological indicators. We want to be careful since there is still some hysteria about this treatment. .We are doing everything to confirm that only the ones who need the treatment for this medical condition, get it."
"That makes sense, I guess. Why are some procedures available prior to therapy and HRT?"
"Those procedures while not recommended for males, do not provide sufficient gender cues to interfere with achieving a male gender expression. The other things which are withheld pending a confirmation that the patient is ready for them, involve making such striking not easily reversible changes that achieving a male gender presentation is not realistically possible."
"You've certainly given me a lot to think about. Why was it that I could not speak when I came out of it this time?"
"It was a symptom of the type of seiaure that you had. I'm glad that it was only temporary which leads me to believe that no real damage was done. Things just were a bit overloaded so your body forced you to calm down before it started working again."
"That's good. I guess following Doctor's orders will help towards me not backing me into a corner like that again."
"It will indeed, Gerrie. I have to check some tests but it appears that you are out of the worst of it. Just take it easy and let your body heal."
Dr Drake left the room and passing her as she was on the way out was Wendy on the way in.
"Vital signs check again, Gerrie. Are you comfortable?"
"Yes Wendy, Thank you."
Wendy went about her work taking all of my vital signs. As I saw her read the numbers off, it didn't viably upset her so I guessed that what she was seeing was normal or at least normal for me."
"Everything looks fine, Gerrie. May I ask you a question about your condition?"
"You just did and you may ask another one to follow up." I smiled at Wendy hoping that my tiny attempt at humor might have put her at ease. Transsexualism was a subject that made some people very uptight.
"What's it like to suddenly be a woman after being a man for so many years?"
"I'm not really sure that I really know since part of what I'm observing may be due to my hospitalization instead of the gender change. For one thing, I seem to pay closer attention to colors and I'm more observant in differentiating the various shades of color."
"I'd agree that being more observant about color is part of being a woman even if you are not particularly artistic."
"I perceive a lot more when using all of my senses along with the new challenge of emotional content being part of my perceptions."
"Thank you for sharing that with me, Gerrrie. I'm off to see my other patients. Take care!"
"I will. Thank you Wendy!"
I was at last able to have visitors but instead of it being Grace, waiting for me, It was Reyna!
"Hello Gerrie. I'm glad to see that you have managed to beat the odds again. Grace has submitted officially your change in status at the office based on your brain gender scan results. I've gotten your previous expenses with your endocrinologist retroactively covered. Under Federal Law, you will be protected, but State Governments are excluded from complying with federal law. The reactionary constitutional amendment that was passed in that brief 2 years that the Republicans captured a majority in the House and Senate reserves to the states all law and judicial decisions concerning the definition of Marriage, Sex, and Gender."
"Well that would explain why she's not here. She's been busy looking out after me. It looks like I'm going to have to be in here for a while. I was hoping that things would be cleared for me to start transition so as not to waste the time staying in the hospital. I remember that they got in following the US Supreme Court striking down all State law and constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They could not get a federal constitutional amendment passed to restrict marriage to a man and a woman so they made it so the states could keep their individual laws concerning it and negated the Supreme Court Decision striking them all down."
"There may be a grey area during the time between your getting out of the hospital with your federal documents declaring you to be a woman, and the time after your SRS when you can get State documents declaring you to be a woman. Businesses that cross state lines have to follow the federal documents and antidiscrimination standards. I'm not sure what the current state of state law allows our state government to act in this area. I'll find out what you can expect."
"I'll hope for the best and maybe this time our state government isn't in the dark ages still, just because it can be."
"Fortunately for you, it won't be a year and three months, like was required under the 20th century standards of care. With you changing your gender expression immediately on coming back to work, it should be something like six months. Even less if you respond to the hormones and therapy well."
"Thanks for finding out on my behalf. I'll keep my fingers crossed that our State is not as backwards on this as it it on some things."
"I understand that you are cleared subject to your physical condition to be scheduled for the first set of procedures and surgeries Rehabilitation therapy will help with things like wigs and breast forms. Occupational therapy will begin the process of teaching you things that you need to learn. It depends on how long you are in the hospital and how quickly your permits certain things on how much you'll be able to get done."
Grace came rushing into the room a little out of breath
"I'm so glad that I finally made it!"
"Reyna has been telling me all the wonderful things that you have been doing for me since I have been out of it. Thanks Grace!"
"Opps. I guess I had better get going. Nurse Janine was pretty strict about only one of us at a time being in here with you. Good bye Gerrie. I wish you well in your recovery and I hope that everything will work out okay when you return to work."
"Thank you Reyna! Things should be interesting to say the least when I return Bye Bye"
I waved and blew her a kiss as she left. Reyna may be hard when she has to be but underneath she is a creampuff. I turned back to Grace."
"So how has it been going, Grace?"
"Gerrie, My first meeting with Reyna went wonderfully, as you can see by her presence here before us. She completely accepted your change of gender. She feels like everyone else will accept it too once it is explained to them. She wants to make it easy for you to resume work. Of course everything was on a general level. I explained that when you are released, the hospital will be providing you with your new federal identification as a woman even though I wasn't sure what name would be on it, yet."
"What happened next?"
"The two of us were been called in for a meeting with James Thornton, our boss along with a conference call with some of the top officials of the state department of Transportation.
"How did your meeting with the upper echelons go? In other words' how did the Good Ol' Boys club take to my defection?"
"It seems that the state is still in the dark ages and I'm afraid that until you can get a state identification certifiying you as female, you'll be required to use the Men's restroom at work."
"But all of the restrooms are single use restrooms in the building!"
"I know. Logic does not seem to make any difference in government circles. It seems that Mr. Thornton will be requiring Reyna to enforce the letter of the policy in regards to you. Official correspondence and documents even though they will have your new name will refer to you in male terms until you get state identification that is able to reflect the gender change."
"That doesn't sound too good. It's going to be bad enough for me to cope with this being new but to have to use the men's room after I have finally crossed the line where the women's room is appropriate doesn't make sense to me."
"Don't worry too much about it, though. After we were we away from the meeting, Reyna had a mischievous look in her eyes and told me, 'I'm a much better lawyer than Mr. Thornton. We'll see about this little power play of his and in the process make things the best that we can within the letter of the law.'
"That's just about what I would expect from them. I wonder what else they might have planned for me."
"You don't want to know yet! Just rest up and get well, Gerrie. Guess I should leave before someone asks me to go. Take Care, Gerrie!"
"Bye Grace! come back soon! Thank you, Grace and good luck with Reyna!" Grace blew me an air kiss and I blew her one back. Grace was about to leave but the Doctor coming in motioned for her to stay.
"Hello,Grace. Could you stay a moment?"
"Sure Dr Erika."
"I hope that you are not going to rush Gloria out of the hospital this time. "
"Fortunately she completed what was unfinished before she was stricken. We both are prepared for her to spend all the time she needs recooping. With her insurance's approval for treatment now confirmed, she can also get in what ever rehabilitation that she is physically able to obtain as well."
"I'm very glad about that. Grace you can go on now if you need to go or you can stay while Gerrie and I get reacquainted if you like."
"I have an appointment to see Reyna Langston, both Gerrie and my supervisor at work, on Gerrie's behalf."
"Please take one of my cards and refer her to me if she has any general questions concerning the situation. I can help explain the general situation without going into Gerrie's details and also to clarify considerations for a smooth transition at work. I can help with any questions that you might have as well, Grace,"
Grace took some cards from Erika and she left one for me as well.
"Thank you, Erika. Grace will make the disclosure and find out about the state government policy that will govern actions. Good Luck, Gerrie! I'm off!"
I looked longingly after Grace as she left then turned my attention back to Dr Erika."
"Tell me where you feel you are in your journey, Gerrie."
"I know I am a woman in my mind right now. It will take getting used to my expressing by my actions and attire that I am a woman. I understand some help will be provided by the hospital and I'm sure that Grace will help. Hopefully more of my friends at work will help once they know what is going on with me."
"Would it be devastating to you if someone from your work did not accept the new you?"
"I'd be upset but I would not be devastated. I know that some people are afraid of someone who is different. As long as Grace stays with me, I will be able to get thru it. Eventually I expect to be so secure in my thoughts that I would be okay even if everyone turned against me."
"Have you thought beyond just your nickname on how you would like to be referred to when you present yourself as a woman?".
"I guess I just thought I would be Geraldine Mercer. Perhaps I could take my mother's name, Andrea, as my middle name. I had the middle name Andrew, before."
"Sometimes it's best to not preserve your nickname from your male name in your female name. Getting those who knew you before to change to a different and distinctly feminine name can help in getting the pronouns correct. It can be quite a change for them so any help can be greatly appreciated."
"I had not thought about that. Perhaps Gloria Ann Mercer would be best. I like that for my name."
"I'll make a note to change your chart designation to refer to you accordingly, Gloria."
"Erika and I talked it over. I decided not to be Georgia since that was too close to my male name to help those around me get used to the new me. I hope that even you will stop calling me Georgie until things get settled and everyone is used to the new me as they let themselves be."
'Of course, I'll call you what you wish to be called. What did you decide your new name is going to be?"
"Gloria Ann Mercer. I guess if you want to still use a nickname for me, I could be Glory. This way I still have the same initials and my middle name is in honor of my mother, Andrea Bradford Mercer."
"Glory, that's wonderful. What about the hospital staff?"
"Erika made the change to my charts and everyone is calling me Gloria now."
" I have a feeling that Reyna will make it comfortable enough for you to continue working in the department when you are able."
"Thank goodness, Reyna is on our side. Thank you so much for everything you are doing on my behalf, Grace. I guess this condition makes me a kind of catalyst and people reveal just what kind of person they are for real."
"You are welcome, Glory." Enjoying every bite of it, I ate my supper. Grace finished hers about the same time as I did. I yawned and was generally showing signs of fatigue. "
"You seem to be fading fast, Glory. Guess I'll go and let you get some beauty sleep. Take care Sweetie!"
"I do seem to be ready to get some sleep, Grace. Thanks for a wonderful day." I blew her an air kiss and she blew one back to me.
"Good night, Glory!" She left the room and turned out the lights so I turned over and went to sleep.
Arresting Development Cast List
State Department of Transportation Office
Gerald / Gerrie / Gloria Mercer, Initial Permit Requests, Undercover Reporter
Veronica, Paralegal for local, county and state regulations, Gerald's girlfriend
Celesta. Work Study Temporary Administrative Assistant
Grace Brooks, Renewal Permit Requests, Hold's Gerald's Durable Power of Attorney and life long friend
Reyna Langston, Department Supervisor and Lawyer
James Thornton, Reyna's direct supervisor
Brandy, Site Inspector
Harold, Site Inspector
Dr Patricia Drake - Brain Surgeon
Janine Howard, RN, Surgery Prep Nurse
Dr Erika Johansen - Therapist
Wendy Newman - Day Shift PCT
Dr. Linda Russell - Endocrinologist
Andrea Bradford Mercer, deceased, Gerald's Mother
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.