Green, everything green, humming sounds, fade-away.
Everything green, voices, can't move, fade-away.
You are in hospital, you're doing fine, sleep now.
You've had an accident, but we've fixed you up. There is something large in my mouth, I cannot speak.
I cannot speak, I cannot hum. I feel something, maybe a finger, in my left hand, I blink my left eye. Very good, very good.
Right hand, right foot, left foot. Very good, very good.
I'm moving up, no more green ceiling, I see people, I see my hands. Someone puts a pencil in my hand, I write
Someone tells me what they have done to save me, I write
The introductory music fades down and the applause stops.
Hello and good evening! I'm Sheila Crowslip. Welcome to my show “Glad to be a woman!” My first extraordinary guest is Terri Wington. A very big welcome for Terri Wington.
Roll of the drums, applause and a very shapely lady walks into the studio with a keyboard and hugs Sheila.
Press a button for “Hello Sheila!”
I'm not going to ask Terri my usual question “Are you glad to be a woman?” I have another idea, actually it's Terri's idea.
Press a button for “Yes!”
Terri suggested that we record an interview between the two of us, edit out most of the bits where Terri is texting and show that to you this evening.
Cut to another studio without an audience.
Welcome Terri, to my show “Glad to be a woman!”
So tell us why you are extraordinary, Terri.
There should be nothing to tell. My life was very ordinary and very happy. Quiet but happy childhood, marriage, two children, a boy and a girl, grown-up now, great family life, lots of friends, good job, good career. Very ordinary and very happy.
Three years ago I woke up in hospital, I had had a road accident, I remember nothing, I was very badly injured, the doctors had to do something very special to save me, very risky, but as you can see, it worked.
At first all I could see was the ceiling, something was holding my head and my arms and legs very straight, I couldn't move, I was very weak, I probably slept most of the time.
I think that I was being given drugs to keep me asleep, I don't remember much, I think that someone explained about the accident to me many times, also that I couldn't speak.
Someone played with my hands and rubbed my arms and legs, I blinked my eyes and clenched my fists to show that I was really alive.
I got better. One day I was propped up and could see all the someones who were looking after me. A doctor put a pencil in my right hand and held up a pad of paper to write on. I blinked my left eye rapidly. Yes, I'm left-handed. I wrote
At last I could communicate, with the nurses, with the doctors and with my son who came to visit.
So what so extraordinary about that, you ask. The doctors told me that I was all smashed up after the accident, not much hope, but they tried something new. They gave me a whole body transplant, that's right, they cut my head off and sewed it onto another donor body. I wrote
I understood a bit more, my neck was damaged, I would probably never speak again, my neck had to held rigid. But why were my hands and legs tied up? Did the doctors think that I wanted to reject the transplanted body and pull it apart?
Once when I was writing on the pad I managed to get my hand under the bedsheets and feel my body, big surprise, my breasts were very swollen. What was wrong with my chest, I could feel no pain.
And what about Kim? I asked my son. He sat on the side of my bed and took my hands in his.
She's dead, Dad. I'm sorry. The doctors told me not to tell you yet, but I can't lie to you. I don't think that Mum suffered, I did the identification.
We cried and said nothing for a very long time.
Sheila breaks in, I don't understand...
Terri continues, I didn't understand either, but two days later the doctors told me. They had done a body transplant, the first successful full body transplant, but they had only one suitable donor body at the time and they didn't have much time.
The donor was a woman.
For me as a man that was a double WOW. I explained to the doctors that it was a big surprise for me, but that I was certain that I could cope with it, much more important, I was still alive. I wrote
WOW x 2
I'm glad to be alive
My daughter and family flew in for Kim's funeral, they came to see me first, Muriel, my daughter, read out the message that I had composed for them, it explained everything.
But before she had finished my dear beloved son-in-law exploded, it was not possible for him to be related to a man with a woman's body, I should take some tablets and end it all, I would feel so much better afterwards. His son, my grandson, joined in, if he were a girl a gun would be necessary to finish it all.
The two of them ranted and raved, shouted and screamed, the shame of it all, how could I...
I could hear the heavy pounding of my heart, I did not feel good, time for a heart attack, I pressed the panic button. A young nurse entered the room, she threw them out, she used only words, but she had authority.
The next day my daughter came back to visit me. They've flown home, I've made my decision, I staying here to help you, Dad.
I certainly needed help. Using the keyboard was easier than pad and pencil, I type a sentence and it speaks it for me. The physical therapists got me walking again. I thought that I would tip over forward with all that wood in front of the hut, but no...
What does wood in front of the hut mean, Terri?
Ha, ha, my tits of course. Anyway I got out of hospital and went home with a lot of help from Muriel. But, Sheila, I'm sure you want to know what my first impressions were, what was different.
Of course there was the new body, very nice I must say, blond pubic hair was a novelty, as was the tattoo on my upper arm, the keyboard as my voice, different clothing and so on.
But very obvious was that I was 20 centimetres shorter, I had been a tall male, but now average height for a woman... I mean, I had to look up to most people, especially men, very odd.
Yes, and I got a load of crap from men, you know, being bigger than me and superior to me. Fifty years of being a man, a large man, means I don't take that, I won't take that. That was a surprise for those guys.
I've got the keyboard set up with a nice low, sexy contralto voice which is OK most of the time, but if I get hassled I press the SOP button and really take the piss out of people, mostly men, with a high-pitched squeaky soprano voice.
So, Terri, you really wanted to be a woman?
Sheila, I didn't have a choice, I had to behave like a woman and look like a woman because my body, my new body, is so feminine. Also I was curious.
I had long discussions with the doctors about this, it wasn't a snap decision. They refused to do another full body transplant, just too risky, ethically wrong. Even with my tits lopped off I would still have a very feminine figure.
The choice was staying indoors for ever or taking the tablets or behaving and looking like a woman. No choice, like I said.
And no, I was not going to appear at their press conference. Of course the doctors were proud, the first successful full body transplant. Yes, they wanted to tell the world. OK, but without me. I didn't think the world, or rather the men in this world, were ready for it. Remember my ex-son-in-law wanted me dead.
I didn't and still don't think of myself as a cross-dresser or cross-gender or cross-anything. I'm very pragmatic, my body was broken, it got replaced, but with a different sort of body.
I decided to go for it, to try it out, to be a woman. I gave myself a year of womanhood and then think again, maybe I could write a book about it. The fun started now.
I leaned heavily on Muriel, I wore mostly my dead wife's clothes, I got my strength back, I worked hard at being a woman.
Three days of the week I spent back at the hospital with the doctors, checking my health and talking to a crowd of shrinks. My hormones had to be kept in balance between my head and my body, but mostly because my thyroid gland had shut down, everything in my neck did not function any more.
I talked for hours with various psychologists and psychiatrists and discovered that I was a psychopath, a manic depressive, schizophrenic, paranoid with Munchkins disorder, a bipolar delusionist with hallucinations and wanted my father to kill my mother with a toothbrush.
The truth was that they all wanted to do research using me to prove their pet lunacies and write award-winning scientific papers. I invited them all to the coffee-shop in the hospital and explained to them my intentions.
I wanted to try to be a woman for at least a year and then see, but unfortunately some people at the hospital were holding me back. I told them to enjoy their coffee and good bye.
I sold my house and moved into an apartment with Muriel. This was about six months after the accident. She helped me with just about everything. I decided not to go back to my old job and not try to get a new one. I had enough to live on, insurance money, investments, pension, sale of the house. Things were going good.
Terri, you were happy? You were a whole woman? You had become a real woman?
Sheila, yes and no. I could and can do anything a woman can do. Oh, I can't speak, my neck is absolutely stiff, I can't nod, shake or turn my head. No sport, no swimming, no flying or heavy work for me. Otherwise I can do everything, just one thing I haven't tried out.
I had plenty of time to try out things, meet people, enjoy life, too much time. I joined a nine-pin bowling club, people of all ages, we meet every Friday in the basement of a local pub, just two lanes and a bar. It's fun, you bowl if you want to, or drink and socialise. We collect for charities, visit the sick, help at local schools and all that kind of stuff.
The treasurer was a very nice man, he invited me to dinner, my first date in thirty years. I was interested, I was curious. I was honest, I told him my story, I took off my scarf that I always wear round my neck and showed him the scar that Frankenstein's monster would have been proud of.
He didn't believe me, he thought I was wonderful, he thought I was a wonderful woman, it got serious, I was still curious, it came to the crunch, I couldn't. There was a dreadful scene, it would make me ill to describe it to you, but it got worse.
I left his house, it was dark, but a warm summer's evening, I decided to walk through the town home. Big mistake, women don't do that, not alone.
A young man jumped out from behind some bushes, he grabbed me, he grabbed my skirt, I punched him hard in the face, he fell to the ground, he hit a concrete edge, he did not get up, I did not stay.
I ran home, got into bed and pulled the bedclothes over my head. I was shocked. What did those men want to do to me? And worse. What did I do to them? I had broken a guy's heart and another guy's head, maybe he was dead.
Muriel came to the rescue, she told me to bend over, she kicked me in the arse and I fell over.
I had a good think, do something positive, I threw out all my dead wife's clothing, I killed the fantasy in my head that I had Kim's body. Muriel kicked me again and took me out shopping.
I bought some nice clothes for me, nice underwear too, much better fantasies.
I worked part-time and unpaid in a school for children who were hard of hearing or hard of speaking. I learned sign language. I tried to help. I enjoyed helping the children and then it happened.
The new teacher was called Cleetha, she was good, the children adored her, she was a keyboarder like me, but somehow she was far better with the children than I was.
Was I jealous of Cleetha? No! I loved her too. She invited me to her place for coffee, she closed the front door, she took my keyboard and turned it off, she took her keyboard and turned it off, she put her arms round me, we have other ways to communicate.
Muriel found a nice young man, Cleetha and me are together, we are all happy.
I am going back to your question “Are you glad to be a woman?”
I have the mind of a man and the body of a woman.
I am glad to be alive.