January 31, 2016

Haven’t posted for a while….mostly because I have been in the cardiac unit for 4 days while they try to figure out what to do with me after spending a day in emerg. Hoping they get me in for more tests and procedure tomorrow. I really need to get home to my own little world. Both of my daughters have been around alot, which is super. We have talked more in the past 4 days than we have in the past 4 months, mostly cuz we were all busy. The outcome, is the my youngest daughter has made a bit of headway in here acceptance of me. So that is my silver lining, so to speak. That is my little victory that I am celebrating right now from this ordeal.

 

January 27, 2016

Interesting session with my gender therapist yesterday. I was explaining a few “issues” I am dealing with re: my ex and my youngest daughter. Daughter is actually doing better so not a lengthy chat there. Ex was a bit of a different story, but boy, did she ever nail the situation. It was good to get some clarity around all of that. She also asked me a whack of questions around how I feel in certain situations and asked me to provide some examples of situations etc. The result? Overall, she is very happy how things are progressing and how I am “adapting” (for lack of a better term??) to my new self. I think the term she was “assimilated”. Every answer i provided contained the word “happy”, but also able to articulate challenges and what I was doing to deal with them. She had a few really good observations that helped me gain clarity and things I can do to make all of this smoother.

 

A good therapist is worth their weight in gold, no doubt……provided you are totally honest with them and yourself…..

 

January 25, 2016

Thinking about a few things the past couple of days that, I guess, surfaced during my chat with my therapist last week. Essentially, it was about how it feels to be authentic now and the simple joy of looking in the mirror and seeing who I am supposed to see. We also chatted about how difficult it is to relate that to members of the VAST majority who totally take that granted. They have no idea what it is like to not have that congruency, have never thought about it, and for a great extent, have a hard time wrapping their heads around it. I was trying to explain that to a friend of mine a while ago and she just had no idea what I was talking about. Most, if not everyone I have talked to about my journey, had never considered this at all. And why would they?? They wake up, get ready for the day, see themselves in the mirror and go about their lives, grounded by the congruency that is them. Trying to explain living without that simplest of human aspects for the majority of my life is difficult.

 

I have found a few approaches that have worked. The big take away for me, though, is that it is often the simplest, most basic things that make me feel so good and so thankful that I had the nerve to make the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. Transition. But when you break it down, it shouldn’t have been the biggest decision. Essentially, all I decided to do was decide to be me. That is what everyone else does and takes for granted. They are going about their lives as themselves. I wasn’t. All of us here didn’t. Now, my life it soooo worth living. I am happy. Secure in who I am, right down to my toes, happy. For the first time, since, well, forever.

 

One more little step…..

 

January 23, 2016

A while ago, I set up an appointment with an image consultant that does work with my organization. I met with her yesterday. It was a blast! We went through about 200 colours/fabrics, and took all sort of measurements etc. So I now have a wallet of fabric colours that I can take with me in my purse and a ton of information about what styles and cuts work for me. I need all the help I can get around building a wardrobe for work and dressy casual. I have no clue where to start. And I have to make sure I represent both myself and my office to the best of abilities, and the women in the office have set the bar pretty friggin’ high, so I need to “bring my A game”, so to speak. At least now I have some basic guidelines to work from. So, now the fun begins….Shopping!!

 

She was really nice and we had a great chat. I told her all about me up front, and she was more that happy to assist. Another person I can add to my list for support.

 

January 22, 2016

So, ya know, sometimes it takes a big storm to show you the silver lining???? That happened yesterday. I had a chat with my youngest daughter yesterday about my upcoming procedure so that she was in the loop. She was a bit rattled initially, but by the end, she was okay. Now, let me state that she is the slowest to get on board with my transition and is a bit distant right now. She wants more time, etc. so I am working on that with her. After our chat she sent the following text to her sister (who sent it to me):

 

“So dad just told me about the heart stuff and I’ll try to go to the hospital with her when the procedure is done and stuff”

 

It might not seem like much but, for her, this is a huge step forward to accepting me (using the correct pronoun) and being okay with all of this. Big teary smile on my face after I saw that. I have always said that throughout this journey, you have to take the time to celebrate the small victories. This is one of them. So, maestro, a little happy dance music, if you please….

 

January 21, 2016

And then the wheels came off…..all four….in different directions….

 

I have been having some chest pains recently, but with no other symptoms and was getting relief with Zantac (antacid). My “medical team” strongly suggested that it was acid reflux or GERD, but did recommend that I get it checked out just in case. So, off I went a short while ago for a stress test. They brought my heart rate up to 180 beats per minute, and I was feeling okay. But they did find something suspicious. Thinking it was a “false positive” the cardiologist sent me to another cardiologist for another opinion. Well, that cardiologist thought the same thing, but for the sake of thoroughness, he ordered yet another type of stress test and heart scan. So, I did that last week. Went to get my results yesterday, expecting the “all clear, that it was in fact a “false positive”.

 

Nope.

 

They found something, again. So, he scurried off down the hall to talk to another one of his colleagues. So, off I went to a third cardiologist. Long story short, another test and I am on the short list for angiogram/stent procedure to fix this.

 

I went from a good day to a complete mess in about a minute. I spoke with my sister, and I had a good cry and finally settled down. Now, I’ve had a chance to digest it all. It really isn’t a big deal. They do about 15 of these a day at one of our hospitals in town. So they are going to fit me in as soon as they can, so that I can get this fixed and move on with life. I am fine, now. It was fortunate that we got this early, mostly due to how well I am followed by my medical team and they wanted to get it checked out, just to make sure.

 

So, a slight bump in the road, but still moving forward. Just goes to show, ya never know what is around the curve, but ya just gotta put on your big girl pants and deal with it.

 

January 20, 2016

Started out a great day….feeling quite good actually. Had a great session with my general therapist yesterday. She is very happy where I am at, particularly compared to this time last year!!! Her questions and comments always lead to some type of epiphany. This time it was, “when I look in the mirror as Erin, I don’t see “him” anymore. If in male mode and I look in the mirror, I only see “her”.

 

I have indeed come a very long way…..

 

Stay tuned for part two of “the day” …To be continued…..

 

January 19, 2016

Well, had my much anticipated appointment with my endo yesterday. I wasn’t anxious at all, as I knew my results looked pretty good as I was able to review my labs before the appointment. But I really enjoy talking with her about all of this, so I was certainly looking forward to it.

 

Anywho….my results are exactly where I should be at this stage. She said I could be the poster girl for how this is supposed to work. All my results are bang on and she certainly as no issues. She noticed quickly that my skin is much softer and smoother, I am a bit “hippy” and my “development” is coming along nicely. She doesn’t want to change any of my dosages or anything else about the protocol as everything is working. We talked about surgery and what she will likely do to adjust my protocol after that. We talked about the name change paper work etc, and she provided my with what she needs to, to change my gender marker etc.

 

Just before we ended the appointment she told me not to worry about “passing” (as much as she hates to use that word). She said I look great, my voice is fine, and that I am good to go. She is the third person on my “health care team” to tell me that. So I guess I should start believing them??? I am my own worst enemy – which my daughter reminds me of constantly – so I always feel a little insecure about all of this. Time to get past it??!!

 

Another step forward……

January 15, 2016

Have a 3 month check up with my Endo next week….just got the labs back for my blood work for the appointment. Everything looks good generally. Estrogen is at 456, so is getting there?? Testosterone is 0.3, so that is good??? I don’t have the correct range to compare to because the stupid report gives the male ranges, not the female ranges. The comment from the lab was that those two tests were repeated to make sure they were correct!! ha ha. So now I wait to meet with my endo and see what she has to say.

 

Another step forward.

 

January 13, 2016

Finally found a few seconds to get myself a bit organized….can’t guarantee how long that will last….; ), and one of the things I finally did was book an appointment with an Image Consultant. We use here occasionally in our organization, and I decided to reach out to her. I told her right up front that I was Trans, and while she said that doesn’t have much experience with trans clients, she is looking forward to helping me. So that is good. She needs me to come in without any makeup on etc, so she can see me true skin tones, and she will be taking a bunch of measurements, blah, blah, blah, and given that I am not done with electrolysis yet, she would have guessed it anyway, so my policy is always better to be upfront.

 

She does colours, clothing cuts and styles that work for you, hairstyles and eyeglass frames that are beneficial, types of necklaces (length and style) other jewellery, watches, shoes purses, coats, etc etc. She is a one stop shop. So, that will be interesting. I am really looking forward to it. It is somewhat expensive, but it will be two 2 hour appointments, so I am treating it as an investment. I could easily (and probably have already) spent the same amount in clothing etc that doesn’t work for me, so might as well learn how to “get it right”. This gives me some time to get out and shop and build a stable wardrobe so I can “hit the ground running” so to speak at work. Should be fun! (and a little scary…..).

 

January 12, 2016

felt crappy today due to know sleep…long story…so called in sick as my schedule was pretty light. Napped, watched a few movies including “the second best marigold hotel” which I have wanted to watch for a while. Stunning cast, and a really lovely movie. Was a crying mess in the end, but felt good!! Welcome to the world of HRT. Personally…I LOVE IT!

 

 

January 11, 2016

Attended the monthly meeting of our local TG support group on Saturday. A pretty good turn out, about 20 people there, including some new faces, which is always good. Two new FtM which is always good to see. One fully transitioned for more than 5 years, late 30’s, and one literally just starting to transition (starting hormones this week) who is 29. He was there with his mother who is supper supportive. It was good for them to speak with the more “seasoned” trans male, so that was very cool. There were also parents there involved with a transition. Their son’s fiancĂ© has just come out and is starting to transition, FtM. The parents are having some difficulty trying to wrap their head around all of this. They are very old school, but trying hard to accept it all. They did ask some really good questions, but it is clear they are “deer in the headlights”, not really knowing what even to ask. By the end, the did have some really good information, but I think a bit overwhelmed. I spoke with the father to try to “calm him” a bit so that he didn’t feel like he was drinking from a fire hose. But this is what it is. I was just glad they came to the group. I am hoping the come again next month.

 

It is interesting…..all the different stories, aspect and perspectives that one encounters on this journey. And EVERY story is definitely unique…..Glad I went…..

 

January 10, 2016

A pattern emerges…

Had an interesting chat with my sister last night…we talk a few times a week now, we are closer that we have every been since I started my transition….

 

Anywho….we were talking about the support that I have etc, and who is on board and who isn’t, and a pattern emerged. The vast majority (95%) of my family and friends are on board; no issues, no problems, no conditions. When we were chatting about those that are not on board, two in particular, something become glaringly obvious. To a person, everyone who is not on board has NOT asked me questions, talked with me about any aspect of transitioning and/or being trans or having GD, or done anything to educate themselves. In fact, they have told me that they are not doing any research at all or educating themselves around this condition or topic. So, this leaves them to run rampant in their mind with what they assume is correct, and false info etc based on what they think they know.

 

So, I have resigned myself to the fact they may never really come around and for some, have let it go and become okay with the fact they are most likely, gone. For one person, I continue to be patient and hopeful, but it is going to be a long road…..but she is worth it….

 

Time will tell…patience…..a major requirement for this journey…..

 

January 8, 2016

Just had a regular “update” meeting with my boss. We meet about very 6 weeks or so regarding how I am doing etc with my transition…to see if there is anything that I need from her or the organization, how the communication plan and name change process etc is all lined up with our HR department, and just an overall check in. It is basically just a nice chat. So when all was said and done, she ended the meeting by stating she would love to go out with Erin anytime for dinner or a movie etc as those are things she likes to do generally and wanted me to know that she would welcome an invitation to do that.

 

This is one of those “I am sooooo lucky” moments….

 

January 6, 2016

Decide to go to a movie last night….I really didn’t feel like staying home, and it was cheap night ($6.00 Tuesdays…Yippee !!). So off I go, by myself. I often go by myself as often times it is a last minute decision etc. So, this in itself it not profound. What did surprise me (“amaze” is too strong a term to be used here…) is how normal the evening was. There I was, a woman, on her own, standing in line for tickets, conversing with people around me about what the movie was about, or what else was playing, the cold weather (the great Canadian conversation topic), etc. No one…..NO ONE, batted an eye. Chatted with people in my row prior to the show starting….it was sold out, so they needed people to not leave single empty seats between them, etc….so everyone got cozy. Then after the movie, the typical rush to the ladies room, because, you know, it had been a couple of hours since I last used the washroom… and stood in line inside the washroom….and again, no one batted an eye. No conversations stopped, no hushed whispers, just normal womanly chit chat.

 

While this is the becoming the norm for me (thank goodness), I still have this sense of awe of how it feels and experience a great sense of internal validation. It is still surprising to me….but in a good way. All of this; a really good movie, and a cup of tea, in a real mug, for $8….It was a good evening.

 

January 4, 2016

Read an interesting short article last night titled: “Neutral Pronouns: A modest proposal whose time has come“. In it was a passage that caught my inner eye so to speak….

 

“A failed match between pronoun and person is often treated as a defect of the person, for it is blamed on the individual’s failure to express proper sex/gender identity instead of being seen as a deficiency of our restrictive pronoun system.” (p.87)

 

I haven’t heard it put so succinctly before, and the basic simplicity of the thesis just seemed to resonate with me. How true…..

 

 

January 3, 2106

Well…it has been more than a few days since my past entry. That was because I was visiting a dear friend, Jennifer (Jennifer GWN) from this forum. And quite frankly???…. I was too busy have waaaay too much fun to post. We always have a blast and Jennifer’s hospitality is always second to none. That girl is going to make someone an awesome wife!! Ha ha.

 

Her son was home from university, but I knew him from before and he is good with everything. And having two yellow labs (Jenn’s and mine) is always amusing.

 

We also had the chance to catch up with Paula {(I am Paula) from this forum as well} for coffee yesterday at this really cute coffee shop in the country side. Oh my god….I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! We always have such a great time when we are together. The really neat thing is that nothing is off the table with respect to topics for conversation. And as I am the relative “newbie” in transitioning….I am like a little sponge and soak up all the wisdom I can get. But we share stories of our common love of travel, good food, music, and also compare notes about the loving and crazy side of our families. Though I must admit…I will cede the crazy part to Paula!!! HA HA. But my family comes in a close second!!

 

But today is back to reality….laundry and cleaning the house. All the christmas decorations have been put away and the house cleaned. Now, on to planning meals for the week etc. I thougth initially that the house would be too much for me to handle, but so far, so good after 7 months on my own. But that is not without help from my neighbours…who mow the lawn and shovel the driveway for me!!.

 

I have been quite retrospective this past few days….who isn’t given the time of year. And while it has been a valuable exercise, I am not going to dwell on it or rattle off all the things that have changed. Suffice it to say that the most important outcome of that exercise is that a) I am still around, and b) that I am for the first time in 55 years, truly happy as who I am. I truly love who I see in the mirror everyday and marvel at how this is how the vast majority of people feel and take for granted.

 

So, off and running in the New Year. Lots of stuff to come, but at least I have a clear end to the tunnel, and the light at the end is not an oncoming train. So, with a great deal of excitment, and to some degree, trepidation, I begin my walk into 2016 and the rest of my life….Here’s to me.

 

 

January 1, 2016

Had lunch with a friend and colleague from work. She is going through a bit of a tough stretch, just having been recently separated, so wanted to see how she was doing. Well, turned out to be a 3 hour lunch. And it was a good 3 hours! As I had the “chat” with her. She was one of the people from work that was on my list to speak to in person about everything as I knew she would be okay. And I wasn’t dissappointed! Her support was/is nothing short of phenomenal !! She is a class act, for sure. Turns out she has experience working with trans folks…she has a PhD, and her thesis supervisor transitioned MtF during her final year. So, she gets it.

 

As a bonus, she is now my conduit into the President’s office of my organization, as she is moving from my office to the Associate VP of the entire organization starting next week. That is the only office that I deal with on a semi regular basis that I don’t have a champion, but I do now. I mean, the Pres has an idea who I am, but doesn’t know me really well….and that is a good thing. Because the only time I would interact with him is if someone does something stupid, something goes sideways and I have to figure out how to fix it….so it is good that I don’t have to interact with him.

 

So, that was a great little Christmas gift to myself….once again….I am soooo lucky….

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