This is it, I turned 50 today and I am not sure what to really talk or consider about it.
I can tell you I don’t feel bad, I feel really good. I am in a great marriage of 29 years this year. I am happily working my way through the transition to be who I truly am, and we are financially stable (albeit in eternal debt). All of this is far beyond what I pictured at the age of 20.
I do think I look better now than pretty much any other time of my life. Not necessarily just because of my physical looks in general, but because what I see is more closely aligning with what I feel. That plus I have kept my 100+ pound weight loss off for two years now, I am feeling comfortable letting loose a little, I think I found a good set point.
That is it, no big insights today, just wanted to say I turned 50, my husband spent a wonderful day with me, and I am an incredibly happy woman. Here are some pics of the day of going out to breakfast with my hubby, then getting home and running him a game while our daughter attempted to get his attention for hours 🙂
Today I wanted to post a picture of my paternal grandmother and myself, and being in an ornery mood I thought I wanted a more unusual Throwback Thursday.
Here is me visiting my grandmother at the age of 1 or 2, sometime late 1972 or early 1973 at “Purdy”, aka Washington Correct Center for Women in Pierce County, one of two women’s prisons in Washington State.
I will eventually post a real post about her, but here is a spoiler, I loved her very much, and there is a reason why my dad was like he was, at least from his starting position.
I look back and I notice that the last post I did was the beginning of May, here it is the middle of June and now I am just getting around to posting. I suspect that is because this was a lot harder recovery from surgery the normal. I think it resulted in me having a huge disassociation for a few weeks and to be honest I am still coming around. Who would have thought a tummy tuck, liposuction and fat transfer to my waist/butt/thighs would be so intense.
Don’t get me wrong, my skull surgery was definitely more “invasive” but that was the only one. This last surgery was about liposuctioning off around 1.5-2 liters of fat around my mid-section (that is all he could get out of there) and putting it around my thighs, ass and hips. He did very well with that.
Combine that with removing a twenty inch wide, and at least 6-8 inches wide set of skin, and then using a plasma device to seal it down the wound recovery was far harsher then I had anticipated externally, not even counting the suck of wearing a compression suit for 30 days. The scar is pretty big, but already starting to retreat.
That being said I think the hardest part was going through two full doses of anesthesia for my March surgery with the thyroidectomy and my April surgery and recovery. I am doing well now, and I am fairly excited that I might get my GRS (is that the correct acronym now, it feels like it keeps changing) within 18 months, then that will be the end of transgender surgeries… unless of course I want to get a little vanity work done around my eyes, or get a thigh/butt lift after my GRS/GCS, both of which are options, but are more for my personal aesthetic then trans related.
Even with all this though, I haven’t pulled at my belly once and I feel like I look really good on my abdomen, thighs, butt and hips. That will be its own set of posts though, I just wanted to share here that I am alive, functioning at almost normal and feeling really good.
Seems I am coming out of my funk, that makes me feel better. Also will mean I hope to write more, sorry about the communications silence. I hate it when I do that.
Went to post-op yesterday. The fat transfer to my hips/thighs/butt is doing really well. Swelling is gone, we will see how much fat keeps. He said he could have used another liter of fat to finish what he wanted to do.
HAHA never wished I was a little fatter before (he stripped everything he could reach out of my mid-section and back to put it down there).
The tummy tuck incision (approximately 20″+ across) is healing well. He removed the packing with only one spot that needed air (and it is already better this morning). Evidently, he removed a tremendous amount of skin from my abdomen that was leftover because of the weight loss.
The swelling will take a long time to go down, but it looks good even now. From my understanding it takes about 2 months for the first 80% swelling to go down, then the rest over the next 4 months. He said it is swollen so much because they were extremely aggressive with the lipo and tightening the skin so when it’s done it will have the best look possible (I do not like the idea of a follow-up surgery so that is good).
I got home, went to bed, and woke up exhausted. Bleeding from my left hip a little, I probably twisted in my sleep and with it not packed, if formed a small tear. It is normal, especially for such a long wound line. Fortunately, I have a hubby who was a nurse for more than a decade, he fixed it up and it feels good.
Other than some pain, the worst part of this is immobility. I have to sleep on my back, in a compression suit (which honestly doesn’t bother me anymore, it is mostly the on my back). I forgot how much I hate only sleeping on my back when I got my breast augmentation last year. At least I don’t have 10lbs of new silicon on my chest I guess.
When I went to pre-op, one of the staff told me I will need to take 4 weeks off and it will be still a little rough. I took four weeks off (still have 2 to go on that) but I was sure I would be back early. I was wrong, LOL I don’t think I will be going back early at all.
Damn, I hate admitting I was wrong haha. That being said, I am healing well, and thank you to everyone who sent me messages ❤
I haven’t taken myself overly serious in a long long time. Before my transition that was because I just didn’t care anymore, after my transition I think it is because I have found myself and I don’t sweat silly looking things (not to be confused with dysphoria inducing things, that is a different kettle of fish).
My goal overall is to not shy away from the bad as well as to show off nice images of my life. So you will never find me artificially filtering my photos (other than maybe make them black and white, or if I am wearing makeup). I am who I am. Even if I am feeling crushed hard from surgery or something else.
Well it happened finally, on April 21st I went in and had “waist feminization”. This is a fancy way to say I had an Avelar Tummy Tuck due to massive skin left from losing 120+lbs. While the epic Dr. Mangubat was doing that, he liposuctioned all the fat he could and produced 1500ccs of fat he then transferred into my hips/thighs/buttocks. The fat transfer is a once in a lifetime possibility when removing the skin/fat on my abdomen, so I jumped on that.
This would give me a more hourglass shape. Currently I had a very rectangular shape (minus the boobs of course). From the side/back it was a rectangle with no real butt to talk about, no hip or waist. He was redistributing the area to give me a curve in the back and an actual hip/waist. Up until now, the only reason I appeared to have a waist was that apron of skin from weight loss.
Dr. Mangubat and his staff when we got there was AWESOME!!! He sat and talked with me for awhile, we did a little thing for his social media and he then drew out me in dozens of lines that I didn’t understand, and to be honest I am so impressed with plastic surgeons. It is an art of sculpting along with the whole surgery skill aspect.
The surgery went fantastically, but was brutal to get me home. The hubby had to get me into bed by himself and with me being 6’2″ and him being 5’6″ that must have been a funny thing. Although evidently it went way better than FFS 2 last year.
By the end of the first day, I woke up and tottered into the bathroom and saw in a mirror and saw I am bruised, battered AND SWOLLEN like the Michelin Tire person, but you can already see curves and I realize the swelling takes up to six months to go down. I also know that it is natural that your body won’t retain all the fat transferred, and the results should still be close, but may not be nearly what you think. It especially won’t be that size because I went in weighting 221lbs, and came out weighing 248lbs from the Tumescent fluid and inflammation.
Editor’s note, today exactly one week out I am back at 221lbs and swollen still like a mostly michiline tire person. Means I might have actually lost a couple of pounds since I am missing 50+ square inches of skin in my abdomen, not a recommended way to lose weight itself, but I will take it.
I figure I will stop with my post here at the first day, and upload as I can the rest of the recover (still only 1 week out so I have a lot of recovery to do).
Just an FYI, Wolsey is ok that in my memories I refer to him as a girl before he transitioned. My writing is a lot more awkward when I tried to change pronouns he used back then. He knows this and is ok with it (like I am ok with him referring to me as a boy before I transitioned).
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the first day my hubby Wolsey and I got together as more than friends and started dating.
After my first major relationship breakup with another woman a couple months before, I had moved into a room at the same house I had met Wolsey years before. This time I was the one living there and not Wolsey. I hadn’t been around Wolsey for several months due to some shit pulled by my ex-girlfriend to Wolsey, indicating to her that I didn’t want to see her (that will be its own post in the future). During this time, I had jumped four or five jobs in the space of a few months and was working in the paint department of Kmart.
March 17th 1991 started out as a normal day for me as I went to work at Kmart. It had been a long day when I got an announcement over the intercom saying there was a phone call for me on line 3. I remember it with clarity.
I pick up the phone and it is Wolsey’s voice. She seemed excited and maybe a little out of breath. All she asked was what time I was off. I was confused and excited. I hadn’t seen Wolsey in months. I had missed her but I figured she was off dating someone and doing her own thing. Her words to me on the phone were, “Don’t go anywhere.” It was a pretty commanding tone and I agreed to wait.
Twenty minutes later I hear stomping boots coming down the aisle and there she was dressed in a leather jacket, facial piercings, a very tiny shirt that revealed her feminine body quite explicitly, a mohawk, makeup, and the cutest purple crinoline skirt. I was getting off work about this time and she came up and hustled me to her truck and took me home.
We spent the next hour and a half talking where we reestablished contact and smoothed over our friendship. Over the next couple of weeks, we talked a lot and she kept showing up at my room. Wolsey was homeless at the time, but that didn’t bother me. I invited her in to my room and let her stay on my single-wide bed. I left out cans of ravioli, with a can opener and a spoon, for her to eat if she was hungry. Wolsey was always hungry and this was the one thing I knew she liked to eat.
On April 6th she showed up in my window while my friend Bryon was visiting. She waited patiently around, but I could tell she was impatient on Bryon leaving. I think at some point Bryon got the clue and made himself scarce.
For the next two hours she told me about a guy that she was really attracted to and wanted to date. To be honest I was absolutely crushed. I had always been in love with her from the first time I met her. She is who I had originally wanted to date, but we could never get our timing right and I do admit I was terrified. I was a horrible person, before I had dated my ex-girlfriend, Wolsey would invite me out to meet her for coffee and I would chicken out and leave her at the Horseshoe Cafe by herself waiting.
I was such a dick.
But now we had started talking and I had started thinking maybe we could work out. I had gotten my first time sleeping with a woman out of the way with my ex-girlfriend and I wasn’t terrified of girls so now I had been hoping maybe things would work out.
I never mentioned how crushed I was. I just was super supportive of her interest in someone. After all she was my best friend, and I knew that more at the time then I had realized before. However she just kept looking at me weird when I was so supportive of it. She realized I didn’t think it was me and then it became a game.
For two hours she poked me and made me try to guess who she wanted to date. I was an idiot and didn’t realize what she meant and assumed it was another guy much cooler then me. Eventually she told me to shut up and said it was me. I was stunned and couldn’t say anything. I think my brain literally shut down for a moment. All I could hear was static and I was sure I had misheard her. There was no way she was interested in someone as uninteresting as me.
Then she kissed me.
We spent the night together, and honestly we have only slept apart since then we we broke up for a several month period after the following Thanksgiving, and after we got back together we have only ever been apart due to surgeries, or travel for work (which has only been in the last 7 years).
So basically I just need to tell my husband that I love him more than anything, and I am really glad he liked the ravioli I set out on the window sill enough to date me :). It has been an awesome 30 years, and I hope we get another 30 years at least.
I LOVE YOU WOLSEY, more than all of the rest of the universe combined.
Last week I received two very obvious acts of aggression towards being transgender. One was a macro aggression, where someone attacked me verbally (and was going towards physical) and the next day the most obvious type of micro aggression. The sad fact is, the micro aggressions bother me more.
I think the last time I directly talked about dysphoria was back in 2019 (and it was face related). I thought it would get better as I was scheduled for major Facial Feminization Surgery. It did go away a lot, the first and second surgeries were awesome. It never went away fully though.
The first surgery corrected bones, the second cleaned up the first by cleaning up skin, muscle and my upper lip. Both of them I think truly did a great job for me. That being said, I have never gotten rid of the dysphoria, in fact I get it pretty bad now.
The subject is really heavy and probably something I can’t break down in one or two posts. In fact I don’t think I can talk much about my facial dysphoria at the moment (it is surging pretty bad). That being said I can acknowledge logically I am much closer to where I want, I just don’t feel it sometimes.
That is except yesterday. Even struggling with still trying to get my electrolysis done (thanks COVID for fucking that up) my body is shaping up fairly nicely. When I first came out I tried on makeup and immediately freaked out imagining it was what a football linebacker would look like if they put on makeup. The sad part is that observation isn’t wrong.
I am not nailing on myself, I weighed 320+ pounds, had not started hormone replacement therapy, and had stubble of the viking born. It was what it was.
In August of 2018 we had moved to Tacoma, I had just started a job I knew I would transition at but hadn’t come out to work. In fact this was only a week or two after coming out to my friends. I knew I hadn’t lost all my weight, my HRT numbers were in shambles but we tried it anyway. It is a basic feminine bit of clothing and I expected it wouldn’t work yet. I was right.
If I saw another woman (cis or trans) in this photo I would think nothing of it, I would believe that they looked just fine. Sadly I have never been able to judge myself with the same eyes.
The way I looked flipped me out and I felt at that point I would never get to a point where I could accept myself. I realized I had many surgeries and hormones coming but it was a crushing feeling. So bad I deleted all the front-facing photos and the only one I know of that I have left is from me behind. Even now it makes me cringe, even though I would never second guess someone else, my dysphoria has a power over images of me.
It has been two and a half years since then. I still am wracked by dysphoria, but the difference is I have moments I feel whole and complete, or at least close enough. Yesterday I pulled out the same camisole in the above picture (I hadn’t tried it on since the initial picture) and thought I didn’t look too bad (honestly, the 38H chest doesn’t hurt).
The hormones, breast augmentation, and surgeries make me feel like I might get to where I can accept myself. I took a couple of selfies after a long day of work, and I found I was ok with myself.
I know the dysphoria will come back (actually already hit earlier today) but I wanted to share that it isn’t always black feelings towards my look. I just wanted to share my feelings, at least the beginning of my dysphoria.
I do have to admit, I am a little nervous sharing these pictures, but I feel like the camisole works better and maybe things are going well. Not bad for turning 50 this year :).
I have a lot of experience with the medical system. Not just my transition, or my physical problems, but also my experience billing for insurance, running a clinic, etc. I have seen all sorts of ridiculousness.
Right now in my life there are a lot of doctors beyond just the transition. We are still working on the mass on my thyroid, and also the infamous espohagus/stomach issues and my vomiting. Right now we will talk about the esophagus/stomach issues and an example of why capitalistic medical system is bullshit.
I went into Kaiser on January 14th for a test that would trace radioactive material through my esophagus and into my stomach. I got a gastric emptying test, basically a test that detects how quickly my stomach breaks down and passes food through.
The end result was clear (meaning that isn’t the problem). However, the problem I had was the costs. They utilized a plain white bread fried egg white sandwich. No toppings, completely plain except it was coated in a specific radioactive substance that they tracked.
No big deal, the staff were incredibly nice and it tasted like a horribly bland egg sandwich. That is until I got the bill for it. I won’t even cover the cost of the procedure itself, just the cost of the material in the egg sandwich.
I am fortunate, I have medical insurance (an HMO) and they basically “charge” themselves for it. The total bill was about $1,853 or so for the procedure, they wrote off $590.16 to magically pay themselves (and also they still make a profit on that $1,200+ test.
The kicker was the $507.52 charge for the egg sandwich. Yes it is a radiopharmaceutical agent, but there is just something ridiculous about the cost. It appears they probably used Tc-99m Sulfur Colloid which the outdated information I had was $36 per dose. Let me be very generous and say the price increased 2.5 times or more and is $100 per dose.
That means for my sandwhich that should have probably cost $100 + less than $1 for the bread and eggs was a total of $101. Yet they charged me more than five times that much at $507 (and the odds are they got it closer to $50 and it is ten times as much).
This is why the capitalist system is bad for the individual. The government already payed the majority of the R&D (that is a whole other aspect), and yet they are still charging a minimum of 5-10 TIMES more then the cost for an agent that they don’t have to incur any danger with.
It is ridiculous, and I admit my yelling here won’t change anything, but it does make me feel a little better.