Under Pressure

2007 chamber course with yaafis

Here I am, working as a hyperbaric chamber operator in the Maldives. Running the chamber from the outside was great. I loved being able to help and make a real difference.

Tending to the patient on the inside, however, wasn’t so groovy. Being stuck together in a space smaller than a broom closet for up to six hours, both of us drinking water to avoid further decompression illness, my bladder felt like a volcano close to eruption. There was no privacy. The only way to relieve ourselves was to do it right in front of each other.

I got more desperate with every minute but never peed in the chamber. Considering the struggling patient was already scared to death, worried to end up paralysed for the rest of his life, and counting on me to literally hold his hand throughout the ordeal, taking off my pants in front of him, revealing that I don’t have a penis, felt like a horribly unprofessional move to make.

Over the years of working on Kuredu, I went into that chamber as a tender several times. Call me stupid or stubborn. I just couldn’t give in and in the end it all came down to will power. I didn’t want to be a liability, didn’t want to ask my boss for special treatment. I promised myself I’d make it work and keep my cool in there. And I did. Every time. While gritting my teeth, every muscle in my bladder screaming for rescue, I made sure to follow all protocols and looked after my patients during every minute of our pressure ride in the rumbling tin can.

#‎Paralian #‎LiamKlenk #‎LGBT #‎notjustrans #‎transgender #‎lifejourney #‎odyssey #‎publishingsoon #‎book #‎nevergiveup

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