I wanted to post some more now that I've actually had my surgery (YAY!!!!), especially for anyone thinking about or planning the surgery themselves - everyone's experience is different, but this might give some things to consider:
Monday, Dec. 26 - I arrived in Philadelphia and checked-in to my hotel. Went to a Target Express nearby to load up on food and beverages for the days after surgery when I'd be at the hotel, knowing that getting out for food would be tough. Around noon I started bowel prep (Magnesium Citrate and Dulcolax, and a couple of other prescriptions). That went on through the day, culminating in an enema at 4 a.m. I unpacked and tried to set things up as much as I could to be ready for when I got back - then I packed my bag of stuff to go to the hospital (including Cinnamon, my new stuffed bear).
Tuesday, Dec. 27 - I had to be at the hospital by 10:30 a.m., and it's only a few minutes away from here. I was still up early - nerves no doubt. My brother called to check-in and asked if someone could call him when the surgery was done. Around 9:30 I got a call from the hospital asking if I could show up early, Dr. Rumer was running early. So I left and got to the hospital before 10 a.m. (Hahnemann University Hospital - it's affiliated with Drexel University).
I went through check-in - a bunch of questions standard for any surgery. Got changed into the gowns they gave me. Then the anesthesiologist came by and put in the tube (or whatever it is they put in). I saw Dr. Rumer and her PA quickly - people kept asking if I had any questions, but really I didn't.
Got taken into the operating room at 11:09 a.m. (they call it when the patient is brought in), and got moved to the operating table. Next thing I know I wake up in another room. They had called my brother at 1:40, so I know it took about 2.5 hours in total. I called him around 4:00 when I was more coherent
I spent the next 2 days in a hospital bed, unable to get up or move much at all. My only real complaint is that the bed had about a 2" mattress, which I think is way too small for being on bedrest for 2 days (I told the PA about that later). The nurses were nice, but it took a long time to get almost anything. I do know that I couldn't do their job, and they don't make enough money (I don't know how much they make, but it can't be enough).
So my new vagina is still packed, and has 3 tubes coming out of it - 1 going to a Foley bag (urine) and 2 going to smaller containers collecting blood. The nurses periodically emptied them. I had no hunger, which was good because the food was truly awful (how do you make scrambled eggs not good!?!?).
Thursday, Dec. 29 - I got discharged - yay!!! It took forever, but it finally happened. Before that I had to actually get up and start moving, which was so much harder than I expected - I did fine with it, but there was light-headedness and nausea.
They sent me back to the hotel in a taxi - and I've been here since. Pretty much staying in bed except to go to the bathroom (including emptying the bags) and getting food.
I don't really feel any pain from the surgery - the biggest pain is my butt from the hospital bed, that's the main reason I've been taking the percocet since then.
On Tuesday morning I got for my follow-up, which is when they'll remove the tubes and packing. Then I stay one more night (to make sure everything is ok after they take the stuff out) and go home the next day.
Emotionally - I won't lie, on Thursday I had moments when I thought I might be feeling regret, but it was entirely about how I was feeling and knowing that the surgery caused that - as I've started feeling more normal any such thoughts went away and I'm getting back to feeling thrilled about this :-) (I think that will be complete when the packing comes out and I can actually see it)