Medical Update

The last few weeks have been busy. Packed with trips down to Phoenix for my face, work fires and some health things that came up. I realize most people think this is too personal, but if I don’t blog about something, I tend to not write about it or remember it fully. So here is my health update.

My therapy has been going well and we have been working on the trauma and CPTSD. During this time my therapist brought up that he would like me to pursue ADHD with my primary care doctor and see if something could be done about that.

The ADHD idea wasn’t really a surprise to me. When I worked for a doctors office back in the mid 90s I didn’t have medical, but the doctors would sometimes take a quick look at you. Ironic isn’t it that a medical office won’t provide medical, that is why I appreciate the Affordable Care Act, when I wasn’t getting medical working in a doctors office, and my spouse wasn’t getting it working as a nurse really shows how fucked capitalism is.

The doctor back then looked at me and said he thought I had adult ADHD. He also said as an adult nothing can be done and I would just need to handle it. That was also because I didn’t have insurance, but that is a whole other story. So for 23 years I ignored the ADHD and just caffeinated myself. So this idea wasn’t new, but I agreed to talk with the doctor and it satisfied my therapist.

Meanwhile I have had a couple of other ailments, including the repeated daily vomiting that has stuck with me for years (with no feeling sick). They scoped me once before and found a hernia, but nothing else. Also in January I had gotten super sick (sicker then I had ever been). Both the hubby and I were so sick we both went to urgent care (we couldn’t breath, I wonder if we had caught COVID before the USA acknowledged it arrived, after all we live in the Seattle area where it first appeared).

During my visit to urgent care I noticed I had a lump in the bottom of my throat. Of course urgent care was horrible, they barely looked at me and dismissed that lump. Unfortunately not long after this the full pandemic hit and we couldn’t get in to the doctor and our second visit to urgent care they once again waved it away (in fact they wouldn’t even touch it).

So last week I went to my doctor for the first time in about a year. My doctor is fantastic, willing to research things and willing to admit when he isn’t sure but he will do that research. He looked me over and confirmed what he think is ADHD for me and prescribed me meds. He also found that my throat had a mass the size of a golf ball on my thyroid. He is pretty sure it isn’t a malignant tumor, just a mass that should be able to be aspirated or removed, so he ordered me an ultrasound I go to next week. He then also examined my abdomen and set me up with a fluoroscopy.

So I went home with meds for ADHD, an appointment for a fluoroscopy and an appointment for an ultrasound. It is the first time in over a year I felt the medical community listened to me (except my HRT doc, he is awesome).

So a week later and I have addressed the ADHD with regular medication… AND IT FUCKING WORKS. I took the first pill and was worried I was going to bounce off the wall (it is like Ritalin, an upper), but instead I almost fell asleep an hour later. It has had no upper effect on me (which reinforced my memories that it took a hell of a lot of uppers to do anything for me when I was young).

I have been able to concentrate a lot better and for the first time in my memory as an adult I get lost in projects I am working on and would finish some of my projects including learn how to design sequences in Apple Motion 5 for videos, and I finished repainting and setting up my butsudan.

Not once did I look at social media when I am working on something, and I also noticed it actually helped my anxiety. In addition, barring last nights bad sleep, I have been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night (which is great because 3-4 was my normal and it was killing me). I suspect they may need to up it a level since there are still some issues (I started at lowest dose), but even at this dosage it is a game changer.

This last Tuesday I went in for my fluoroscopy. I assumed it was just like the barium swallow I did a couple years ago, but it was far more in depth. They had me swallow multiple cups of different liquid, while I sat, stood and laid down. They had me scanned once in a machine that moved me around. They then had me get x-rays multiple times over several different increments of time.

Jerry the Tech, and the doctor were both fantastic. Neither one of them referred to me with the wrong pronouns and they were both intent on my health. I really appreciated that. There was another new tech who thought I was a guy until I told him I was transitioning (I obviously have boobs, makeup and I don’t think I look as masculine as I did so I suspect he had an issue with me). I did learn from him that he left his last job as a tech because there were “too many young women and full of drama”. I was a bit stunned that he didn’t realize that he was probably the problem… but I digress.

While I was waiting for x-rays, they seated an older lady who hid away from me. Then I coughed a bit (the liquids they gave me had crystals that dried up my throat). When Jerry came back the old lady freaked out that I might have pneumonia. We both explained I was given a drink that dries my throat out and that I wasn’t sick. She still threw a fit, so Jerry in a supreme act of patience walked her into a different area. He apologized to me later, but I told him that he had nothing to apologize for.

Is it bad that it actually made me happy that the old lady only referred to me as a “young lady” and in fact only seemed freaked by my coughing. I couldn’t tell if she didn’t clock me or if she was cool with transgender people. Either way I will take that as a win.

Well I got out of the scanning after about 3.5 hours. The doc said he saw nothing in his initial review but couldn’t be definitive until he sat down with it. So I have a lot of hope that at least there isn’t a mass or something in my abdomen blocking my esophagus or stomach. That was the fear my original doctor had on why I was throwing up so much for years. Still waiting on report, but I have good hopes.

The thyroid mass does concern me, but the doctor and hubby both have felt it and it doesn’t have the obvious tell tale feeling of a malignant tumor. I am fairly sure no matter what happens I will be fine, but just in case I checked on the status of both my life insurance and they are good to go just in case. I will talk about that appointment next week I am sure.

There you have it, my immediate physical health condition as we speak. Being successfully treated for my ADHD, still unknown on stomach but unlikely anything like a mass, and my throat is still in the air, but unlikely malignant.

On the way home I got brave and swung by the park I normally go to for lunch at work. While I was there I played some music loudly and the crows and seagulls returned. I got to feed my birds for the first time in 8 months!!! That made my day.

Honestly I feel fairly healthy and cheered up.

White Collar Jobs

DISCLAIMER: My comments towards white-collar work and the worst I refer to here (such as the bitching about minimum wage) are not from my current job. My current job does have frustrations, but in general, office politics isn’t part of it because I am out auditing. Most of these references are from my time with the Department of Defense auditing defense contractors. That being said I still don’t like white-collar jobs.

I hate them… there I said it loud again that I absolutely hate the environment, culture, and most of the people involved in white-collar cubicle jobs.

This came up this morning when I was pulling the dishes out of the machine. I could smell the same smell I would get when working as a dishwasher/prep cook. The smell of well-cooked food was still in the air. The hubby was a sous-chef for a four-star restaurant back before we worked in offices and he had cooked a great pork loin meal for us. He is why I am spoiled when I eat out. This combined with the smell of a finished dishwasher, detergent, and still warm dishes brought back working in a restaurant.

Here is hubby as a sous-chef… actually this is pre-hubby when he was still wifey.

Growing up, no one I knew had a white-collar job. Family and friends were customer service, kitchen staff, labor workers, or bikers. I never got a frame of reference for what working in an office meant or how people acted, except for what television showed. Even the first eight years of my working career were food/customer service type jobs (more than 35 of them). I didn’t say I was good at staying at jobs, just that I had never been around white-collar jobs.

Me in my Subway shirt in 1992, don’t get me wrong I hated that job, but I preferred that environment over white-collar. oh and yes this is me as hubby, in a pre-wifey condition.

When I got to white-collar jobs (working in the healthcare/medical office field) I was unprepared for how office life was, and this wasn’t even full cubicle since the medical office is sort of a halfway point between customer service and a cubicle job. So there was some familiarity in it, even though it was more toxic.

In a lot of ways, white-collar jobs are easier work but really are soul-crushingly shallow in the actual value you bring and shallow in the people working there. This ends up being ultimately more stressful for me. Even though these kinds of jobs are way easier than anything at a restaurant or retail, the environment is far more toxic.

Don’t get me wrong, working in the white-collar world means I get paid enough to pay my student loans, medical to cover our health concerns, and we stay warm and dry not having to work our bodies into the dirt doing jobs that don’t get paid enough for what you sacrifice for them. That is the ONLY reason I work in white-collar. Once we are out of debt, and if medical coverage either becomes single-payer or having a job isn’t required to have coverage, then I am out.

I have found over the last 20+ years of working full-on white-collar that I  trust my coworkers less. We have nothing in common, and the drama is not worth it. Growing up I was used to being able to trust most of the people I work with, at least enough for them to get their job done and to unify against management in our bitching about the job. I also miss being able to talk about things I like, joke around with people with similar backgrounds. People that understand the references to having grown up with Top Ramen and mac and cheese.

The one thing I do miss the most is working around people who give real smiles or other emotions while at work. In my experience with white-collar jobs, you can’t trust the emotion you see on a person, especially the smiling. White-collar jobs do not have a lot of real smiles, mostly they more resemble viperish and misleading smiles, harboring contempt and drama (ok I have had some bad experiences haha).

The jobs themselves in cubicle land are easier than any retail/food position, even though accountants and other cubicle workers claim minimum wage jobs are only for high schoolers. I have never felt good sitting at a desk and doing repetitive work, and even worse when staring at the clock as I watch my life drain away for things that don’t impact anyone directly. At least when I worked in food, whatever I did was eaten by the customer so it was direct, or when I worked doing janitorial or something else the end result was a clean place other people could use. Now I research, do reports and conduct a lot of financial analysis only to have it thrown into a file and no one looks at it. On the off chance someone does look at it, they ignore it and do what they want anyway, even when my work warns them not to.

That is partially why I have stuck with auditing. Out of all the accounting jobs I have had exposure too, it is the one most like a service industry job. I have to go out and talk with and interview people. I drive around to other places constantly and the job is always moving and changing. While the form of an audit is repetitive in what you are doing, the vast differences between each entity I review make it a new job.

Hmm… maybe this post is conflating two issues, service industry jobs, and my mental health issues that make it hard for me to do something repetitively.

This doesn’t even count the ridiculous expectations that a lot of white-collar job workers have about their actual value compared to lower-paid workers. These coworkers often think that people working service industry, labor or other low end paying work don’t deserve to be paid a living wage. The conversation/argument I was having with them was the living wage minimum wage of $15 an hour and that their jobs aren’t tough.

Meanwhile, during these arguments I had with them, I watch these same office workers spend hours trying to put up a Seahawk flag (while getting paid $45 an hour) and ignoring their actual work. They didn’t like it when I pointed out they were bitching about someone working a much harder job for $15 while they fucked around putting a flag up for multiple hours. They never brought up the minimum wage argument to me again after that.

I do hope if we ever get out of this debt/medical coverage issue, that I will be able to get out of the white-collar world. I am really hoping I can do it so maybe the last few years I am able to work physically it won’t be shuffling papers and dealing with office politics.

Well, my rant ran out of speed and I will leave it there. Trust me there will be more rants though, this is just the start.

 

Surgery

I have been really quiet for the last five plus weeks since surgery. Mostly because it has been a real emotional rollercoaster, and also because I wanted to see how it turned out before I posted about it. The very brief TL;DR of it, IT WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS, even though there might have been some crying along the way (or more than “some”) I feel it was all worth it.

Here is the Too Long Didn’t Read Comparision before surgery and after.

The day of surgery was actually really good. We ended up getting up early, prepping and heading in. The traffic was extremely light and we got there in record time. I will admit that I was a bit more nervous about this then I was the first surgery. The first surgery I didn’t care how well they did in Scottsdale, it would be better than where I was at. This I was a bit more worried, not only that something might go wrong and I will have to take a step back, but that it won’t have any effect at all.

Once I got into the surgeon’s clinic they sat me down and Dr. Mangubat went through and marked my face and chest. I am always amazed at the sculpting ability of good surgeons. I look at those lines and it means nothing, but they can create works of art (just like people who draw out patterns). Changing something from two dimensional lines to a three dimensional form is pretty fantastic. Also, Dr. Mangubat and his assistant were awesome. I wish I could remember his assistant’s name, he was also a very skilled surgeon learning the trade from Dr. Mangubat. Dr. Mangubat himself was incredibly kind, jovial and reassuring.

To be perfectly honest I know they rolled me into the surgical suite, I remember the nurse talking with me and giving me an IV and the next thing I remember is waking up in my bed at home. What I do know from talking to the husband is that surgery lasted about 6 hours, about half the time of my surgery with Dr. Ley. He got me into the car and drove me home.

I do know from him as he tells me even now how hard I was to get up the stairs. I might weigh a 100lbs less, I still am 6’2″ to his 5’6″ and I outweigh him by 40 lbs. The stairs were evidently an issue. I am told I stopped in the middle of the stairs and wouldn’t move. Hubby had to yell at me to get going (and it sounds in the same manner my dad would when he needed us to do something).. Thank you hubby for getting me in to the house and into bed.

The next few days were sort of a blur. I remember lying in bed, the hubby feeding me and giving me pain meds and then the hubby playing video games while he laid beside me. By Monday though I was feel really good about myself. I was really liking how it was looking and things were good.

We went to the follow up appointment where they took off my main head wrap and looked over the incisions (there were a lot). The docs all seemed happy, I was happy and life was good. They gave me a wrap to put around my head and neck to help the skin heal tight.

Meanwhile my boobs were healing excellently. I had to wear a weird little maternity bra, but they were huge and somehow the doc fit 800cc implants in through my armpit, so no scarring under the boobs.

Within a day and a half though, the skin around my incisions started having a skin reaction. Much like when I have an allergic reaction to bacitracin or other antibiotics. It started getting bad and we called the doctor back. They immediately the next day had me come in to look at it. No one was sure what I was reacting to. It could be the wrap around my face, it could be the staples in my head or it could just be a normal infection.

Whatever it was, Dr. Mangubat put me on anti-fungal, an antibiotic and an antiviral. The worry was the infection would reek havoc with my healing and skin. I am glad I saw him immediately. He actually commented that it was unusual that a patient be so proactive. I blamed my hubby being a nurse, my own experience in a doctors office, but honestly it was also my anxiety. Probably mostly my anxiety that propelled me.

I will admit I was also having weird panic attacks. I felt like I couldn’t breath at night with everything wrapped around my head. I was short tempered and I did have an emotional/anxiety breakdown. To be honest nothing was ever that bad, but the rebound from surgery and just all the stress had caught up with me. Also, I do not do well with opioids. They aren’t the most effective to begin with and they wreck me emotionally, every single time.

I had one night with a complete breakdown and I was a jerk to Wolsey and lost my shit, panicking that I had somehow fucked my face up and all the work the surgeons had done. I am grateful that he loves me so much. Also things started healing up, although the breathing panic attacks still happened at night. However I was looking way better.

Later that week after things had calmed down I talked to my therapist (they specialize in LGBTQ, Trauma and Trans stuff) and they mentioned it isn’t uncommon. Both my dysphoria and evidently inability to breath at night. The dysphoria is kicked off as a delayed sort of thing. It isn’t any regret on my part, but rather just processing (and not even close to the processing I will probably be doing over the years). The other part was the breathing. Evidently it is not uncommon for trans women to be uncomfortable trying to breath laying down. The fact I have 38H sized breasts with 1600cc’s worth of silicon on my chest is a new sensation and is just my body getting used to things feeling different. Evidently trans guys go through the opposite sometimes, they feel light chested.

That did make me feel better, and it definitely made me realize I wasn’t the only person going through this.

However within a few days, with the help of all the meds, my face started healing up. My breasts were already in good shape healing wise and I had no problems sleeping after the first couple of weeks. By the time my one month had arrived I was in pretty good shape and now 7 weeks out the scars are starting to fade out. I am so happy with what happened. I can’t thank Dr. Mangubat and his associate enough, but I most especially can’t thank my husband enough. He helped me get the surgery, he took care of me, and I hope he understands how much I truly love him.

I even took some photos of me several weeks after the fact just to see what I looked like.

That is it, things are great and I attached all the pictures above plus several extra as a gallery below.

FULL GALLERY WITH EXTRA PICS

Encounter at the Park

I really do mean to post more about all the little incidents, microagressions and triumphs I have on a day to day basis, but for some reason it is hard. So here I am trying to renew that.

I think I am going to need to change the park I visit on lunch for a couple of months. Not that I don’t like the park, but I think I probably feel safer giving it a break. I decided yesterday to go to it during lunch. I needed to step away from the dumpster fire of an audit I was doing so I drove down and parked.

There I listened to my music with a vague hope that the birds would be there. Sadly no birds at all, and the park was fairly full. I stayed in my car, with mask ready in case I wanted to walk around. I noticed how many people in the actual park (out of their cars) had no mask and I decided discretion is the better part of valor and I didn’t need to risk myself.

I decided to do black and white yesterday. Seemed more fitting, even if it was sunny and dry.

So I sat there for awhile listening to loud music when I noticed a park bench full of guys laughing and talking, probably 10+ years younger than me. I didn’t get the impression they were laughing at me, but they did keep looking over. Eventually one guy waved me over and I just watched him for a little while. Eventually they yelled over I should join them.

I shook my head and mouthed something along the lines of “No thanks” (I remembered yesterday the exact words, but evidently sleeping made the specific sentences disappear). They turned and gave me a little bit of a hard time. I think I was passing close enough and they hadn’t caught I was transgender yet.

They did it again and something annoyed me by it. Probably the realization that this is what women go through every day their lives. The expectation that it is ok for guys to bother a woman and that she owes them her time. I shook my head again and turned up my music. I think at this point it was that I was listening to White Zombie (specifically “More Human than Human”). I think this was a surprise because they had heard my earlier music that was more techno/nightcore like.

A few minutes later this one guy kept on it. Every few minutes he would yell over to me. At some point I am sure this became a game with them, but it didn’t truly bother me. I am not sure what he said when the voice of “John Bradley” came out (my father was incredibly witty, and antagonistic when pushed and so when an instinct comes over to do something that is completely socially unacceptable, and I do unapologetically, we call it pulling a John, or a “John Trap” or something like that, RIP dad).

This is me just a couple minutes before the encounter. I suspect they saw my 38H boobs when I got out of my car and dumped garbage (boobs not pictured here).

I just leaned out and yelled back in my very masculine voice (no attempt at feminizing and I have a pretty deep voice) something along the lines that “if anyone wants their dick sucked, they would have to suck mine in return”. I swear it was actually more witty than that, but the meaning was clear and I can’t remember my exact words. With that I just turned the music up louder and it was Marilyn Manson.

The whole table just froze. I am sure it was a combination of my deep male voice and the reference to my dick. A couple of the guys at the table burst out into laughter that was obviously directed at the guy at the table that had been harassing me. That guy just looked shocked and within a couple of minutes the whole group got up and left.

They didn’t threaten me, although a couple of them looked unhappy (and the one guy looked pissed). I decided after a few minutes that maybe that wasn’t the best thing to yell at a group of guys and mock them that I was trans. I wasn’t scared of them at all, but there was the realization that no matter how tough I thought I was, there was still multiple guys there and I was transgender and mocking them.

So I drove out of the small park and down a couple miles towards my place. I found a cool little park on the beach further down and spent the rest of my lunch there. I like the original park and I will eventually go back, but I probably am going to avoid it for the rest of the summer. I didn’t recognize those guys and they definitely don’t go down there during the winter, but probably best if I don’t come across them if possible. I will remember to take pictures of the new park (no trees, and its kind of cramped but its was less cramped then Thea’s Park).

Here it is, another little micro aggression, this time I think it was based on them thinking I was cisgender female. That part made me happy, it was a little validating. Then it wasn’t validating and I found it annoying.

Dream: Peter Weller is an asshole (not really)

First let me start off with saying, to my knowledge at least, that Peter Weller really isn’t an asshole. After all goddamn Buckaroo Banzai (Robocop or Leviathan for all of you heathens) can’t really be an asshole can he?

I really should buy Buckaroo Banzai!

A lot of the dream detail is fading, but it once again centered around a house we were all in. People I know in real life, along with people I am sure I might have met. All of them coupled with an older Peter Weller were sitting out something in the house. Not necessarily a great evil outside, just something that made everyone stressed.

What I remember is coming into the bedroom and Peter Weller and a friend of mine were in an argument. Peter was telling them how wrong they were, how childish and immature. My friend was arguing for him to not open the blinds above the bed, that something was out there.

I stomped over pissed as hell at Peter Weller (he was here as himself, not as one of his characters). I knew something was out there and I told him. We got into an argument and eventually,0d00a3 he forced the blinds open. Outside in one of the trees was a large mammal. It could have been some huge mutant sloth, or something else, but whatever it was I lost my shit on Peter. I screamed at him about what a mother fucker he was, and that my friend wasn’t lying and now they knew we were in there.

Peter looked shaken, although in all honesty the creature wasn’t horrifying looking, and I just kept on him for a few moments before I woke up to being really fucking angry with Peter Weller for not listening.

Now I feel stupid as I sit here that I was so mad at one of America’s great unsung directors and actors for a dream. HAHA but that is ok because now I will need to watch Robocop in the background as I type and play video games. I just needed to write it down before it all disappeared, the reason that Peter Weller is an asshole (not really).

Another Project 365 Update

Another heads up, more Project 365 videos were found (2013 I believe) and a ton of short videos/vlogs. I am not sure what of the non-Project 365 will get posted, but definitely all of the Project 365 are still coming.

Now I have to figure out how to organize the Project 365 Page… a lot sooner than expected 😉

Project 365 Update

Just a heads up that there will be a stream of 365 videos I found. These are all videos I put up on previous sites in previous years, I had to redo the music but they are fixed and uploading as I type this. Once I have these still remaining videos published I will work to slowly put up the other months in those years (plus keep up on current times).

Countdown

This will be real quick. I have been quiet lately because of anxiety and a little depression as my surgery comes up. Well it is 12 hours from now and when I get home I will have breast augmentation, lip feminization and my second FFS.

It is local so no big trips and I will come home to sleep in my bed so that is going to be great. Mostly I am grateful to my husband for loving me and taking care of him.

I just wanted to pop in and share that. I will be back soon!

In the Middle – the Penis

This is a TMI warning to everyone. The following post is about my masculine junk that sits between my legs. No one talks about it, and I found some transitional things out the hard way, so I figure I would post about it to those who are curious about what really happens.

This is my viewpoint, only my experiences. Other trans/nonbinary people (MTF, FTM or nonbinary will have different experiences). You are warned from this point out. Also, this post is JUMBO, and I don’t apologize for it. It’s a complicated subject matter I haven’t really talked about before… but I am sure I will talk more in the future (also JUMBO is an inside joke you will get if you read this). Continue reading “In the Middle – the Penis”