Frustrations at work

Yesterday was quite the frustrating thing. I was dressed up in my blue striped dress, my hair was made up and I had good makeup on.

I went out to a non-profit agency with a second monitor who looks at different things. I was there to audit them and I had steeled myself to get looks or actually verbally misgendered (it’s happened before).

We came in and they weren’t polite, but when they realized we were there to audit them they were perfectly nice. While I think I got some side-eyed looks from them, I didn’t get anything overt and that was all I can ask.

My coworker was the one who actually called me he four different times in about 15 seconds. It was so jarring that even the agency I was auditing looked surprised. They looked me up and down and then back to my coworker.

Finally I got her to stop talking and I corrected her using a masculine pronoun. She did look horrified when she realized she had called me he repeatedly. At least I do t believe it was intentional and we went on with what we were doing.

I thought it was done with it (she only used she after apologizing profusely). I am not mad at her, but I woke up mad in general early this morning.

I am now just angry in general and then even more angry with myself for not being able to put it away… circle of self-loathing is strong today.

Just had to put it out here and go back to work. Hopefully now I can let it go.

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Insomnia, Anxiety and Sleeplessness

I can’t tell you why I was awake at 12:30am specifically. I am anxious, tired, pacing the living room trying not to wake my hubby. Of course today I have to audit an agency so it isn’t like I can just veg out in my office at work.

I don’t think its the audit itself either. I am almost done with my review before I even get there. They are religious in outlook, but I haven’t had any problems yet and I honestly enjoy that kind of thing.

I wonder though if its my hormonal fluctuations. My doctor is great, but when my test results came back for my estrogen and they were basically zero, she was out sick. Now that she is back she referred it to someone else and this is taking forever.

Been hormonal, anxious and all over the place… ya it is probably the hormones. Hopefully I can keep my shit together today, work the day and come home. I am disappointed in myself, I had meant to run the hubby some of his post-apocalyptic game when I got home last night, but I was so tired… yet I can’t sleep.

Stupid hormones…

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Lunch Visitor

From last Thursday:

Sometimes when you are stressed out about work, transition and rapid hormonal fluctuations, the universe  sends a seagull to check on you… ok to eat your lunch but it’s the same net positive.

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Morning Ritual

Before I decided to transition, I had unknowingly suffered from white boy privilege. I would give my girlfriends, then wife a hard time about how long it took to prepare. All the while not realizing how long it did take to prepare, and the expectations of society on it.

Fast forward to now, and I realize what a douche I was. Not an intentional douche, but a douche nonetheless. Now that I have a morning ritual with makeup, and not even that heavy of makeup (I am still scared of that, will post later on it).

So every morning I double shave (that is until I finish electrolysis) then I put on makeup. I realize I am not winning any beauty pageants, and that a lot of women forgo this (rightfully so if they don’t like makeup), I can’t. Being transgender means I need to try and use every tool I have to give the indications of the gender I am presenting. Every little bit helps.

Here are some photos of my makeup, actually it isn’t much and maybe I will do a more in-depth later, but this is it for now.

Also I am learning to eat crow as I realize all of the microaggressions or at least the unrealized privilege I judged women and undoubtedly minorities with. I am trying to change that.

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HRT Problems

I haven’t posted much about it because I thought it was a super temporary situation. When I first started on hormones back in April 2018 my numbers for estrogen started to rise, while my testosterone started to fall. This was great.

In August the test came back even better, wasn’t 100% but it was obviously climbing. My doctor said take a few months and then come back to get tested again. Well life got busy and a few months became 5 months, and by that time I knew my orchiectomy was coming in two months so I just put it off, since life was already so busy.

Fast forward to a week before my bilateral orchiectomy. I am in the pre-op appointment for it and no one asked for me to take a lab for my HRT numbers. I thought that was weird so I asked to get them done on my own, I wanted a baseline.

Turns out that at some point in time my estrogen had dropped below my starting point and my testosterone had shot up 30% higher then it was BEFORE I started transitioning, when I was presenting as full male. This would explain why my changes had seemed to plateau. I was a bit freaked to be honest, but I knew the next week I would have my orchiectomy and my testosterone would be gone, and my estrogen would go up.

That was four weeks ago, so yesterday I took my first HRT blood test since my orchie, with four weeks under the lack of testicles and I had some good news, and some bad news. My testosterone has dropped down to a blip where it should be. The bad news is my estrogen has dropped down even further, nowhere where it needs to be.

Fortunately my hubby has been here, putting up with my freaking out at finding this out. There has been some changes from my orchiectomy, but I am assuming that is probably from my testosterone dropping then from my estrogen helping as much as I would like.

This is evidently not a super rare problem though. I have still been pukey, even without being on spiro so that could be effecting it (although I go out of my way not to eat hours before or after the estrogen so I don’t puke during that time period. The other thing is I have always had a weird liver test and my family are super resistant to most drugs. Stupid genetics.

So I sent a message in to my doctor and asked about either sublingual tablets to avoid being processed in my gut, or injections. I am willing to do either and I have heard of good stories where this problem was easily fixed by that. Of course this all happens on a Friday night so I have to wait all weekend, but such is life.

Hopefully Monday I will get a call from my doc that she updated my prescription, until then I will just go over here and sit and cry in a corner…

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Rest of the FFS Trip

To be honest a large portion of the trip after my surgery is a blur. I do remember the whole food debacle though with clarity.

Before we came down I got the surgery schedule and was told that I would be on clear liquids for three days Friday through Sunday), then another 2-3 days of soft food (Monday and Tuesday) and by Wednesday I would be fully capable of eating. So we went to Frye’s Grocery and bought food for the 9 days we would be in town. The first three or four days being clear liquids, the next two being soft, then normal.

The cart isn’t full yet.

When I came in for my pre-op appointment on Friday we were then told no, in fact I would be on clear liquid until Wednesday, and I might be off soft foods by the time I left (but probably not). So we went back to Frye’s for a second set of groceries based on this (another $70).

I was released on Sunday to go back to the hotel from the hospital and I was told right there by my surgeon that I could immediately start eating regular solid food. The nurse came in behind the surgeon and suggested that maybe I don’t, and to be honest we listened to her, but I was frustrated by the constant changes in what I was supposed to do post-surgically. Almost as if she didn’t remember.

The surgery itself went well though and I liked what I saw, so I went back to the hotel room and the next three or four days were a blur. We occasionally went out, but eating regular food was too difficult so I ate a lot of yogurt and dip while laying in bed. Also I hated growing stubble because I couldn’t shave.

Red Robin was really hard, I couldn’t open my mouth so I had to cut the burger into 20+ pieces and eat it with a fork.

It was partially a blur because there was pain meds, recovering from general anesthesia and finally I got sick and was puking my guts up. All I remember was watching Brooklyn 99 and marvel movies in a haze of sleep, sick and dreams.

We couldn’t tell if I was sick because I caught something, or because I had to go off all my hormonal treatment, either way having had facial surgery, my head was wrapped up and hurting from cutting off portions of my skull (forehead, cheeks and jaw) that it just sucked. Also, by this time my hair stank, it still had blood in it, even after days of showering, because I couldn’t scrub it.

I tried constantly to clean the blood out of my hair for the whole week.

By Thursday morning though I was recovering and we began going out to do small things, mostly so I could eat something that wasn’t yogurt. I still couldn’t open my mouth all the way, but it was definitely better. Below was my trip to see Avengers:Endgame.

I went to my post-op appointment on Friday and I knew this would happen. I was hurried through, the surgeon only spoke to me for about five minutes and bailed out of there quick. Her assistant removed stitches, or at least tried to (since then my hubby has removed more than a dozen stitches out of my scalp that should have been done).

I was (and am) really happy with the results, even with a swollen face.

Eventually Saturday morning we piled down to the car, took it back to the airport and I flew home. I haven’t ever been so happy to just be home. There I spent the next 2.5 weeks recovering. The husband was so much help I can’t even thank him enough for everything he did. I am a lucky girl.

Seriously, I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

Well that is it, my FFS trip (I still have a whole mouth/lip FFS thing going on, but that won’t be until end of 2019 and is its own story).

 

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FFS Surgery

First I want to be clear about this. FFS Surgery was the most invasive surgical experience I have ever had in my life. I had read up all about it, felt I was prepared, and to be honest I was pretty prepared. That being said, I do hope I don’t have to deal with something on that level again.

I got up a very very early Friday morning (although not nearly as early as we did to go to the hubby’s surgery. We wandered in and it took awhile for them to process me. It was super busy, and unlike the almost dead waiting room for Wolsey’s surgery, this one was packed with a lot of people.

Didn’t feel right to take a photo of the people in the waiting room so you get an outside picture.

They got me back and started preparing me. I think I looked pretty comfortable, and they were incredibly nice, but I have to say there was a bit of terror in my heart.

That terror would creep out sometimes too.

The best thing about the surgery other than my wonderful husband, was were the nurses. There was a bear of a man that I cannot remember the name too, but he was the In Charge nurse (I am not sure of their titles). He and I talked politics (he is conservative, but the kind that I get along great with, even on points we disagree). He held me over until the star of the show came… Jeff the nurse.

Jeff was there for the hubby’s surgery, he was there for mine. He was the kindest, most warm-hearted man and I can’t thank him enough for everything. I truly truly truly think he is fabulous.

I don’t remember much about the surgery itself, I know I was under for more than 11 hours and that my recovery was rough.I puked for the first 24 hours almost non-stop in reaction to the general anesthetic. Although thankfully I remember almost nothing of my hospital stay due to the IV drugs I was on.

The hospital stay itself was fantastic though. All of the nurses were supportive, they didn’t blink about my transgender status and several of them remembered us from when the hubby was there 18 months earlier for surgery. They even noticed I had lost a bunch of weight.

For the two days I was stuck in that horrible headwrap you will see in the pictures. They couldn’t change dressings or do anything with my hair as they had cut my scalp like a baseball to go under for my bone work and then pulled my scalp forward a little bit.

By Sunday afternoon I was released by the nurse, the doctor wasn’t able to make it in. This made me uncomfortable, along with the whole eating solid food thing that I will eventually talk about.

I got home, and by Sunday night was able to sleep next to my husband, with the headwrap off, and about to have a sucky four or five day recovery before things got better.

That blue pen took days to get cleaned off

That is it, that is my surgical experience briefly and only in general, although I am sure I will post specific things when they come to me. Below is the gallery of all the photos suitable for posting. More posts about the rest of the week and specific details will be upcoming


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Bilateral Orchiectomy Quick Update

I have been away from the site for awhile now. I had to work far enough ahead to take a week off for my surgery, and the surgery itself meant I wasn’t able to really post much. I got some upsetting test results right before my surgery and that also did some disrupting.

This is just to let you know though, that last Friday I got my bilateral inguinal orchiectomy, resulting in the removal of both of my testicles and the removal of the spermatic cord. I am alive and well now, although still healing five days later.

The post-surgery smile and crackers proving I live.

I will be back to posting soon, hopefully tomorrow, where I will pick back up with the rest of the trip for my FFS surgery back in April. Thank you for being patient, I appreciate it.

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Just a brief update.

I realize it has been awhile since I posted. I was happily sailing along post surgery, starting to talk about things and I went radio silent. The problem was I just hit a wall unexpectedly.

I assume its from all the anxiety, the hormonal shifts because we can’t get the spironolactone right, surgery push back and just a general exhaustion. It wiped me out for a month, I haven’t even got caught up on my video creation or started doing the courses for 3d art.

A lot has happened since I went dark. I am scheduled for my bilateral orchiectomy on June 14th (yes Karen, that is when they will remove my testicles). I will be out of work again for a week, no sick time, and of course my employer is ok with the time, but no offer to do the normal request for other employees to volunteer sick time. I don’t expect it, but it is typical of what they ask for the other employees and then not for transgender issues.

I have been back to work for almost two weeks and people overall have been pretty good. I am now legally female both state and federal levels. I have ID and a birth certificate with the female outlined, so that is a giant win (even though that was four days of running around, probably a big reason I hit a wall).

I do think I am looking pretty good for where I am at. I know I have a long way to go, the orchiectomy will be a godsend and I should start seeing changes quicker.

Actually feel pretty good about myself sometimes.

My coworkers overall have been really cool about it. There are lots of new things I am learning, such as how women’s bathrooms are a whole different world then men’s bathrooms. I think that deserves its own post.

My husband has been a gem overall with understanding my anxiety, and hormonal ups and downs. We have had a couple arguments but I understand where he is coming from. I just want all of this done as soon as possible, then I can move on to picking up my life and becoming who I am.

Mostly this post is to say I am alive, I will continue posting about surgery and about everything, I just hit a wall and needed a break. I may be stressed, upset, etc, but I need to make sure everyone knows that I realize I am a very lucky person and I know it. While I may have just added a little over 40k in debt, I am fortunate to have that option when so many others don’t.

I just wanted to make sure everyone knew I knew and that I should be back now :).

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Odysea in the Desert

DATE DAY:
Where: Odysea In The Desert
Links: Odysea Aquarium, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, Four Peaks Mining Co, Pangaea Dinosaur Grill, Arizona Territory Trading Post
Date: April 25, 2019.

We decided to go out and have a good time the day before my surgery. We wanted to spend a little time having fun before I was knocked out of action for some time. The morning of our date we had some La Quinta breakfast, including the waffles we like so much (yes I am white trash).

We had noticed last time we were in Scottsdale that they were advertising a large aquarium. Being from Seattle and the Ocean we were a little skeptical, but also interested. We decided to go whole hog, treat it like a tourist destination and do everything.

We got there pretty early in the morning and found the aquarium was indeed open. We bought our tickets and on a whim bought other tickets for Pangaea for when we were done. Going into the aquarium I found it was really nice. Things were organized fairly well, and they had a lot of hands on exhibits. There were two specifically that I liked a lot.

The first thing we came across was the Sturgeon Cove where we got to pet the sturgeon as they swum by. It was interesting, and they tolerated it, but they didn’t seem to seek it out too much

This was just a lead up to my absolute favorite part of the day. The stingray tank. There is a large tank/pool that you can walk up to. Many stingrays are swimming in it, and when they see you they come rushing to you. You can pet them and give them attention and they will get pushy with each other to get our attention. It was pretty fantastic feeling the smoothness of them.

They hubby and I wandered around the rest of the aquarium, it was interesting, they had some nice displays. Unfortunately a lot of the tanks of fish I had already seen here in the PNW, but it really isn’t a bad aquarium, especially if you are living down there.

We then moved on to Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, and found that was an incredibly large disappointment. I have been to other dinosaur exhibits and I was prepared that it would be lackluster, but this was just sad sad sad. It was more of a childcare exhibit, which is totally fine. However, they don’t make it clear what it is and that is on me for going to it anyways.

We lasted about 7 minutes in the exhibits, decided to bail and ended up getting bad photobooth photos before having lunch at the Pangaea Dinosaur Grill. I have to say the Gyro and Greek Fries was an awesome meal and it mollified me for the Pangaea Exhibit.

We wrapped up our visit with a trip to the Arizona Trading Company and picked up expensive tourist knicknacks for our friends, but while it was expensive it is still cheaper than the airport. Our final visit was the Four Peaks Mining Co, where I picked up cheesy bracelet and hubby picked up a fossil. Overpriced, but was still a lot of fun.

Overall, this day went really well, it ended with my pre-op surgery, which I will cover in my surgical post. The only sad part of the day is most of my photos did not work out, the iPhone couldn’t handle the speed of the fish or the dark, but I will get a better camera at some point.

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