Finishing Off 2019

This last month was supposed to be mostly vacation and medical appointments. With Christmas coming and this being the first Christmas where I am not so depressed that I was numb, I knew it might be a little rough emotionally.

It was a lot worse than expected. On Christmas Eve I got a call from my sibling. They had a broken leg, had decided to run off to Vegas to marry someone and within three days of being there it was broken off. I get a call saying they are stuck there with no money, no flight and no place to stay. They literally only went to Vegas wearing pajamas (although they did get some clothing when they got there).

I spent the next three days on the phone with them, other hotels and airlines trying to arrange a way for them back. To make it worse, the sibling wasn’t behaving very rationally and was having some issues of their own. They wouldn’t just take the next flight home and had to wait a day and a half (meaning I had to pay for an extra hotel night). They yelled at me (but stopped when I hung up and I think they knew I was going to leave them if they didn’t cut that shit out), and finally they got home.

They are doing better, which relaxes me. However, I haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night until last night since this whole event. It has set off my own mental health issues, but fortunately my hubby and my therapist have been really good (more about my therapy in the future).

The end result is a lot of extra money on a credit card, mental health flare and a continual worry that my sibling is going to hurt themselves as they are currently homeless back in Bellingham. It wracks me with guilt because I can’t afford any more money, and they have been nice about it not asking, but I still end up feeling like a failure.

None of this even counts the emotional grief I am not able to process because of this for the death of my parents and my missing them.

That is ok, this is a new year, new outlook and a new girl who is establishing boundaries. So don’t pity me too much, I will be fine. I just needed to write down a very abbreviated version here.

Office Situation

I currently share an office with a pretty cool guy named Tom. He and I get along, he hasn’t had any problem with my transition and it is just a comfortable situation.

Yesterday our boss came in and told us that we would have to move into cubicles. The department hired someone else that would need the office and we will have to move out in about 3-4 weeks to two cubicles smack dab in the middle of a full office staff.

We were both frustrated, annoyed and a little pissed. Our position requires space for a lot of files, and to meet with people. However, it is true neither of us are supervising management. We checked out the cubicles and they aren’t horrible, but they are in the middle of everyone.

For the rest of the day I was annoyed. I felt it was because now it will be loud, and there are others there that I suspect track each other’s breaks and stuff and we won’t have the space we are used to. It bothered me a lot, more then it should. I totally agree its ok to be annoyed but honestly I logically realize it isn’t a big deal.

I got home and the hubby commiserated with me, and he brought something up. He said I am probably upset because I feel safe in my office and now I am in the main area with everyone. I am no longer in a safe spot, with someone I can trust.

I hadn’t even considered that, but he is right. This is the first time I have had to sit in a public space since I fully transitioned and it freaks me out. Partially its irrational, and partially its because I know some of them dislike me (well, that plus its loud and there are break watchers). So now I am anxious and pacing.

I know things should work out, but it is going to be anxious for me, and I am glad my hubby is so understanding. I realize also that most have to go through worse, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is new for me, so I will forgive myself that.

I am going to miss this office.

Some good news

I got my blood test results back. I have some good news and some ok news.

Good news: my testosterone is “LESS THAN 10 ng/dL” and the range is 0-74ng/dL. So at least we know my testicles haven’t mysteriously grown back 🤣.

The test is to ensure the male hormone has dropped off thus allowing feminine hormones to work their magic. This is first time my testosterone hasn’t decided to make a comeback and I find it encouraging.

Another bit of good news is my progesterone numbers (prolactin test): 15.5 ng/mL and the range is 2.5-19 ng/mL. That is excellent news as this is the hormone that developed breast growth.

Finally I got my estrogen results via paper only (for some reason it isn’t on my electronic documents). 98 pg/mL and the standard range is 30-500.

This is an upward trend (my last result was less than 20), but not where we want it (300+ is the target score, there is another test that goes up to 700 and on that one we want 400+, not sure the difference though between the two scoring systems).

I will admit I was really disappointed by this. However Dr Fields is awesome, he said we will take this progress and up my dosage to 8mg of estradiol per day (I was taking 6 as of yesterday and only 4 when I had the horrible doctor) so I feel like we are moving.

I will go get another test in November and cross my fingers.

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.

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…

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


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 :).

A great experience and a realization

Last week I had an awesome thing happen. I was sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru (don’t judge me, I was hungry haha) and was talking to a young dark haired lady. Probably in her late twenties she was very chatty and I was dressed fairly femininely. As I pulled away she just smiled at me and without hesitation, without asking me to clarify my pronouns, she called me missus. The happiest feeling I have had about this transition after my husband confirming he wasn’t leaving me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am quite aware I am not passing or stealth at this time. Sometimes in a dark room, with very dim lighting maybe… but it is obvious how I am dressing and what I am putting out there. This was the first time someone didn’t ask me to clarify my pronoun, and who didn’t roll their eyes before using it.

My coworkers overall respect me and use it, there have been a couple of failures but I can’t hold that against them. I am 6’2″, they originally met me the first time I worked at my job as a male and it very rarely slips out. I get it, I don’t get mad at them, but I find it hurts now.

Fast forward to yesterday, I wasn’t dressed up too much at all and by the time I got home from work I had minimal stuff on my face. My hair wasn’t done and while I was wearing a girl shirt and uggs it still wasn’t really clear. It was more of a “fabulous” gay man then a girl look.

We went out to the local pot shop (thank god for a legal state) and while there we were chatting with the employee he referred to me as a he… not surprising and not offended. I was surprised though when my husband called me a he twice to the guy (we were joking around about something).

First and foremost, everyone slips up and I am not at all upset. I still do it very very rarely with him when we are talking about a time before his transition. I also wasn’t sure if it was to just smooth things over with the employee (sometimes its just easier to go with whatever the person I don’t know says instead of correcting him). Whether it was either one I am not at all upset at him or offended.

What I did learn from that and has been on my mind until this morning is that the pronoun thing does bother me. Not at my hubby. He did nothing wrong and I don’t blame it, but every time in the day someone says he (and it happens almost all the time unless I am talking to them directly, which case most of the time they just use my name) it feels like a small punch in the gut.

I can’t tell if this is a new thing, or if this is one of the many things that beat down on me for decades, but I was too numb and depressed to even know what it was.

It also could be a rough moment for me. I have surgery coming up in a week, lots of debt I put on our family for it, I am not nearly as far into the feminization of my body by hormones due to my testes fighting me at every step, the fact my hormone levels are all over because of my testes fighting my spiro dose, and after a year I am tired and the initial elation of coming out is gone.

It doesn’t change that I am happier, but it means it has been a rough month. It doesn’t mean I don’t have times where I wonder what the fuck I am doing and why am I bothering. They pass quickly, but I wanted to be forthright about how I felt in my writings. I think I am just in a down spot at the moment, hopefully to be buoyed by regaining my wind, getting some awesome surgery and being able to do something with my hair and eyes when I get back from Scottsdale.

I went back.

It is official, I start back at the job I left in September for concerns about transphobia next Monday (March 4, 2019) . The straight up reason is I need to make as good a money as I can, I can’t put my husband through this debt if I don’t have to.

Don’t get me wrong, he is completely supportive of my transition and of us taking on the debt. He makes enough to support us without that debt, with the debt is enough to drain our resources that we have stashed away. Within 10 months to a year we wouldn’t be able to make all the payments for 120k in student loans, plus the car, plus the 40k for my face.

We are starting to barrel down at the magic age of 50 in a couple years and I need to get him a place of his own to buy and it won’t happen if I am unemployed.

So I got the offer to go back and I will. They know fully about the transition now, so maybe that will change things for the better. They know I have four surgeries between now and probably October and they said they would work my schedule around that. I can’t say no at this point. I have to give it a try.

It is very possible that I am freaking out about something that may never happen. They may turn out to be decent employers, and at the very least they won’t be able to stab me in the back like the last place I was at. I am expecting problems, so at least I will see it coming.

I have had a whole ton of stuff to write about, but this event has been nagging and stressing me so much that I have shut down. I figure I need to fix that. I have a few days before I start. I will get my shit in order, focus on my husband and enjoy this damn it!!! If its the last thing I do HAHAHAHA!

Besides I get half an office to myself, no one really knows what I do (or at least how I do it) and I am mostly in charge of my own life as long as I meet the needed audits. So maybe this is a good thing and I am freaking out about nothing.

Crossing my fingers.

Anxiety, Unemployment and Job Interviews

I have been quiet the last couple of weeks due to an overabundance of anxiety, projects and money stress. Overall it has been going ok, and only some of my stuff is transition related so I will cover that in a future post.

As we all know, I was laid off 25 minutes after I put in my request for time off for FFS related to my transitioning. It was unexpected although not necessarily unwelcomed. I hated that job anyways, the management I worked with (as part of management) had favorites, targeted specific employees they didn’t like and overall, I disapproved of how they did it. So, my being cut out was fine, especially if it made me eligible for unemployment. Sort of a win-win.

Five weeks later they still were not approving my unemployment (sadly I worked for the people that handle unemployment, so it was a bit awkward signing up for it) and that has caused a massive amount of stress financially.

We can totally get by on what my hubby makes, even if it is super tight budget wise. He is working his ass off, but it crushes me every time I see him having to do what he does, and he does it willingly to help support me and my transition. That is why it was so important I get unemployment so I can take that burden off and smooth our wait for my surgery in April.

Last week I got asked to come in for an interview at the job I had before last. I left that job because of some pretty transphobic coworkers (they didn’t know I was transgender) and so I made a soft exit and went on to what was a cursed job. Now they wanted to interview me again so while I dislike the idea of working there again, I know the job and it pays fairly good, better than my hell job.

I went in to the first interview, part of me really hoping they wouldn’t want me back just so I could actually have some time to be a stress ball about transitioning and surgery. I was clear on the massive amount of time I was going to be requesting off this year due to four surgeries (at least, not counting any revisions or fixes needed). They seemed mildly ok with it.

I got home and the next day I find I am approved for unemployment. Massive amount of pressure taken off both the hubby and I for at least six months. It isn’t a lot of money and it means we will not be paying any of the large debt we are incurring for my face, but it would keep us going.

Not more than three hours later I get an invite to the second interview for that job, a job I don’t want but pays too much for me to justify not taking it. So now there is a little frustration that I got the unemployment but that will probably be going away by the beginning of February IF they hire me (that is still not even close to a definite yet).

So now I have this cognitive dissonance. I am getting unemployment and am happy, but stressed it isn’t more money. I may get a job that pays about double my unemployment but will hate and here I sit spinning my wheels stressed about all of it.

Stress like a rat on a wheel, circling round and round.

I find if I express this it sometimes helps, which is why you get to all read about it. There are some transition things happening that add greatly to this, but like I said those will be their own post.

So here I am stressing out that I might have a better paying job, or that I am not making enough on unemployment. You would think between the two choices I would find myself happy, but I am not. Such is the life of a girl.