“Bond, raum drei.” The receptionist called from her desk.
“That's us.” Dad sighed.
My stomach did somersaults as I gathered my stuff, I'd come prepared with a book and everything and here we were being called for our appointment early! Reluctantly I followed Dad back past the receptionist and along a short corridor to a door wearing ‘Raum 3' and below that a sliding board bearing ‘Dr Fischer'.
Dad quietly rapped on the door.
“You okay, kiddo?”
“COME.” Sounded from within.
Dad opened the door and ushered me inside.
“Ah, our young Radrennerin, hello again Drew,” he offered a hand which I shook loosely, “and this I guess is your Väter?”
“Dave, Dave Bond, yes.”
The two shook and we all sat.
“So how is the racing going?”
“Okay I guess, you win some, you lose some.” I shrugged.
“But my sources tell me you win rather more than you lose.” He lifted an eyebrow.
“I suppose.” I allowed.
I guess he was trying to put me at ease but those damn winged things continued to make my stomach churn.
“So, it seems Mother Nature, she has her own timetable eh? Dr Schindler in Hamburg outlined things for you?”
“Pretty much.” Dad agreed.
“He's sent down the bloods, given the nature of the problem I asked him to do a full bank of tests. It seems that your ovaries have matured; we knew it was a possibility but I guess our timing was a little out. We've had you on iron tablets for what, a year?”
“More like eighteen months.” Dad supplied.
“In hindsight we may have spotted this sooner but what is done is done. Having spoken with Dr Schindler and looking at the samples we think that you may have been ovulating for several months.”
“So why didn't it burst out before?”
“Why indeed? Our best guess is that previously the bleeding was relatively light, the material eventually re-absorbed. This time it just happened to be a heavier bleed and your efforts at the race; well they combined to cause the perforation. Have you felt bloating before Sunday?”
“Occasionally I guess, it soon passed though.”
“Hmm.” He made a note on the stack of papers before him, “ When we last saw you we checked your hormone balance, yes?”
“Uh huh, you said my testosterone was pretty low.”
“That's correct, I have to say that generally in such a situation we would have put you onto a low dose to try to stabilise things, as you know we decided to take a watching brief due to your sport. This week's results I'm afraid have seen a further drop in testos production, pretty much a trace level typical of a pubescent female, oestrogen levels are almost normal for that same female.”
“So you're saying that he's not producing any significant male hormones?” Dad pushed.
“Exactly. With the secondary characteristics already evident I would say that except for a bit of plumbing Drew is about as female as you get.” Dr Fischer stated.
“But I've got the men's equipment.” I pointed out.
“How do you say, ‘A red herring', as reproductive organs they are redundant, the testes are sterile and the penis cannot sustain an erection.”
Talk about embarrassing, its true but put like that, and in front of Dad.
“Dr Schindler said there were options on how to proceed?” Dad prompted.
“Indeed Herr Bond, indeed. Option one would be to perform a hysterectomy, remove the problem and with other cosmetic surgery make Drew appear male, we would need to administer a cocktail of hormones to kick-start some form of male puberty.”
“But he'd still be sterile?” Dad asked.
“I'm afraid that's true.”
“Option two is, if you like, the opposite approach, we make a vaginal canal, remove the male features, complete the job Mother Nature has only half done.”
“yes, what we term a vaginoplasty, normally we have to wait until the patient is eighteen but in this case it would be considered a medical emergency so we could proceed as soon as.”
“Are there any other options?” I asked, I couldn't see how there could be, a bit of straw clutching on my part.
“Well in theory yes but I have to say that it's not really a long term solution.”
“We make you a more permanent version of the drain Dr Schindler fitted you with.”
Great, I become a eunuch, some sort of hermaphrodite or a girl.
“What's the time scale Doctor?” Dad enquired.
“There are hoops we have to jump through, surgery timetables and so on, the sooner the better really but certainly no more than three more cycles, we can put you on contraceptives to temporarily stop ovulation.”
“The vaginoplasty, your female plumbing seems to be fully functional and is at least theoretically fertile, you present very well as a girl, I think as a man you would always appear effeminate.”
“Thank you , Doctor.” Dad offered.
“Any more questions?” the Doc asked, “I guess you need some time to make your decision, I can put you in touch with a counsellor if you wish?”
“No thanks.” Why do I need a shrink?
“Okay then, I'll give you a script for the birth control pills, and if we can conference again, let's see,” he checked his diary, “Monday week? Say ten AM?”
“We'll be here, thank you Doctor.”
“Er yeah, thanks.” I added.
We picked up my prescription on the way back to the car both of us keeping our thoughts to ourselves.
“We can get some lunch in Köln first if you like.”
“Maybe in Bonn?” I suggested.
“I guess we can do Bonn.”
“We don't have to.”
“No Bonn's fine, anywhere in particular?”
“The Dinea, if we park near the station we can look in the Spielhaus on the way.”
“There had to be an ulterior motive.” Dad chuckled putting the car into gear. “So, any thoughts on what the doctor said?”
“My options haven't changed.” I sighed.
“Look kiddo, I'm not going to try to coerce you into any particular choice, you know we'll stick by your decision, whichever it is.”
“For my two bob's worth…”
“I should do the vagina thingy.” I interrupted.
“Dad, I'm not stupid, I know that most people, no make that everyone I meet these days thinks I am a girl already. The Doc's right, I'd never make much of a bloke, I'm one sixty tall and under fifty kilos, puny for a bloke, petite for a girl, all my friends are bigger than me. I don't want to be a girl, I want to be a man but lets face it, with my plumbing I am already a woman, the surgery will just finish the job.”
Dad drove on past the airport in contemplative mood.
“You sure about this? You know it will affect your cycling?”
“I've done nothing but think since the weekend, Dad. It'd be nice to see this season out as me, as Drew and I guess the development squad stuff isn't going to happen now. But there's always next year right?”
Yeah I've been thinking about racing a lot, I'll never aspire to a lot if I go the male way, but maybe, just maybe I can follow in Mum's wheel tracks in the women's peleton.
Dad gave me an appraising look, “ What if you could finish this season?”
“Those contraceptives, they should stop your periods, if we tell Dr Fischer to organise everything for say late September, it's not that far away but you'd have a bash with BC, Caro knows the situation, you've won the Jüngere League anyway.”
“You think he'd go for that?”
“I think what we don't actually tell him…”
“Won't hurt him.”
Dad followed the ‘Centrum' signs and within a few minutes we were parked in the pile of scaffolding behind the Bahnhof.
“I remember this, the museum's just down that way.” I pointed away from the station. “Hey, maybe we could go take a look after lunch?”
“Maybe, that Neanderthal exhibition is still on.”
We did end up at the museum, Dad was pretty chuffed to finally get to the exhibition and I saw stuff in a different light than when we came with school the other week. For one I was more comfortable and Dad was able to explain some stuff better than the notes did. That was after lunch of course.
The great thing about Dinea is that you get to choose exactly what and how much you want – it can be a bit pricey but with a bit of practice you learn to play the system. I ended up with Wiener schnitzel and fries with a bowl of salad, Dad went for the prawn curry special – of course you have to have cake for dessert.
I did manage to steer Dad into the model shop – not that he took that much persuading. I've not got any new stuff for my collection in a while so I splashed out on some of the new releases. Dad is apparently a closet model railway buff, well he seemed to take quite an interest in all that stuff – I had to drag him out!
So anyway, by the time we'd visited prehistory and drunk another cuppa it was knocking on five thirty. We made our escape from the former capital and arrived home a little after six.
“I'm just going round to Con's.”
“Don't be late, I think you could go to school tomorrow.”
“Don't Dad me.”
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 27.10.2011