Sunday, December 30, 2012

The anti-resolution post

So I will not dwell on 2012 ... it pretty much sucked.  Too much death, too much illness and injury, too much sorrow.  The sole bright point was my decision to pursue my transition and continuing on this path despite all the negatives.

I have avoided resolutions for many years ... since I was a child, actually.  I remember my siblings insisting that I make a resolution ... and usually an unattainable one.  Often it was something to do with controlling my temper or eating more healthy.  They would then spend the next several days or weeks trying to get me to break my promises ... and would usually succeed.  Then they would spend the next several days or weeks preaching to me and making me feel guilty because I was not a strong enough person to keep a resolution ... despite the fact that the resolutions were not realistic ... or the fact that they either did not make one or failed to keep the ones they made.

I am not a weak person ... I am not a bad person ... I do not make resolutions.  I do, however, make goals and update the goal throughout the year as I progress ... and 2013 will be a year of changes for me.

On the fitness aspect of my changes:

- I will set up a training schedule and will be back in "running shape" by my birthday.
- I will modify my eating habits to accentuate my exercise regiment (I will still hit the buffets and sushi houses, but I will be a bit more conservative)
- I will not dwell on the number on the scale.  I will focus on feeling healthy
- I will choose and register for a marathon in 2014.  My initial goal is the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon, but that is not carved in cement.

On the transition aspect of my changes:

- I will not hurry my transition.
- I will continue my laser and electrolysis until I am beard free.
- I will go out in public as me more often (no specific numbers on when, where or whatever)
- I will explore the possibility of hormones with my doctor and will take whatever steps necessary to start hrt before the end of the year.

The two aspects of my goals are completely independent.  If I am slow on my fitness goals it will not interfere with my transition goals, and if I am struggling with my transition it will not bog down my fitness.

I will evaluate my progress (or lack thereof) on a regular basis and adjust my expectations as needed.  The fitness does not worry me too much as I have been down this road before ... I have come from totally out of shape to riding a 100 mile bike ride in under a year ... I went from no cardio base to finishing a half marathon in 5 months (it would have been a marathon, but I tore cartilage in my knee).

The transition makes me nervous.  I have never done this before and do not know what to expect.  I will keep moving forward ... I will become me and stop hiding behind this pseudo life I've built.

I wish everyone a wonderful new year and hope you all find happiness in achieving your goals along the way.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Not much to say for so much going on ...

So here's the warning first:

*** *** There are pictures of my tumor and my tubes and incision later in the post *** ***

I put them at the end in case yo do not want to see them.

Monday Dec 17 - pre-op prep time:  I am sitting on the bed, my wife is sitting on a chair.  The curtain draws back for a second and a face pops through only to disappear and the curtain closed again.  I didn't think much of it.  A minute later 2 nurses walked in to shave me.  The one who had opened the curtain seemed to be staying intentionally behind my peripheral vision and was not talking ... of course this made me want to pay more attention to her.  On close observation I noticed a couple things that might indicate she is a transwoman (a slight hint of a beard shadow, a bit of an adam's apple and larger than normal hands) ... and it does not matter, nor do I care.

At one point during the shaving she said about me, "Her armpits look pretty good."  Her voice was on the low end of female.

I didn't flinch, but I wondered if when she saw me she knew I am transgender ... or if she was worried that I would read her.  I will never know.

Dec 17 - 21:  I would love to recap the surgery, but unfortunately (or luckily) I do not remember much.  Coming out of anesthesia was rough ... I have vague recollections of my wives and sisters (2 to 3 of each) visiting as they faded in and out.  Then I slept.

The next few days were spent trying to gain strength.  I was determined to not show my distain for being stuck in the hospital.  It is not fair to the nurses and other helpers who are simply trying to kelp me.

To my surprise I actually enjoyed my stay.  I did not feel the need to act masculine ... I didn't try to act overly feminine either ... I was just me.  It was very relaxing and fun to not feel bound by some superficial expectation of what I was supposed to be.  I engaged in what would seem to be "girl talk" with a couple of the nurses and enjoyed it.  A few of the staff would use feminine pronouns and then correct themselves to match the name on my chart ... it felt good.  I did not enjoy the time away from my wife, but I know I needed the rest and medical attention ... and it gave me focus to want to get home faster.

Since returning home I have been chomping at the bit to move forward on my transition.  A big reason is the effects of the laser beard removal are more obvious.  There is almost no sign of my beard shadow ... unfortunately there are still a lot of non dark hairs, but for the time being I look a bit closer to feminine after I shave.

My primary doctor visited me in the CCU and commented on being "clean shaven" ... but I think it dawned on him that I was staying clean shaven every day.  He is smart enough to figure things out, so my first visit with him after all this may be interesting.  It would make things much easier if he brought up the subject of transition, but I'm not holding my breath.

I am seriously considering getting another ear piercing in each ear before I go back to work ... And I will more than likely buy a pair of ankle boots online ... ... We'll see.

Right now everything is about recovering, resting, healing ... ... getting healthy.

Actually, I am more able to breathe than before the surgery.  I could easily start a new exercise regiment as I get better.  I am actually excited about training again ... trying to achieve at least one of my goals ... trying for a marathon finish in 2014 (yes, more than a year from now, but I am very out of shape).  This time I am taking my time and implementing proper training tactics.  The only question will be if I cross the finish line wearing a sports bra or not.

I have my first checkup with the surgeon tomorrow.  Hopefully he will remove the two drainage tubes dangling from my back.  We'll see.

I am putting in some space lines and photos.

After the line of ***** will be the photo of the tumor and my incision.

I posted it on Facebook, so you may have already seen it.

I am just giving a fair warning in case you really do not want to look.  It really is not gross,



Friday, December 7, 2012

Stress, Pain and Exhilaration

 So I'm not going to waste a lot of your time explaining that my wife and I are pretty nervous about the upcoming surgery ... DUH!  This is a temporary delay to my ultimate goal to transition ... and not much of a delay in many ways ... mostly it will delay talking to my doctor about hormones.  I don't want to go through such a harsh surgery, but I do not want this tumor in me any more ... it's strange, When I didn't know it was there I was fine, but knowing it's there bugs me.

I had my first laser treatment on my mustache and beard area the other day.  If I had to describe it in two words they'd be "Oh My God!!" ... OK, that was three, but it gets the point across.

Laser treatments are not fun to begin with, but laser on your upper lip, the dense hair on the chin and by the ears brings all new meaning to the word "Intense!"

I used the numbing cream, so it was not that it was unbearable ... but it was a type of discomfort I had never experienced.  And as I found out, you use the numbing cream the laser just turns up the juice to the laser.

So she starts on the sideburns ... right by the ear (Duh).  The popping of the laser and the sizzling sound of frying hair was very loud ... and a bit amusing.  I broke into chit chat quite easily and was comfortable in girl-talk mode ... it was a nice distraction to what I was feeling.  The strange thing was every zap of the 3000 or so was painful yet exhilarating.  I knew and felt myself getting closer to my goal with every pop.

The following day I went to see my counselor.  She told me that she looked into the waiting room and wondered who the lady was sitting on the couch.  I'm thrilled since I'm not living full time ... yet, but it makes me want to go in full femme mode to one of my next appointments.  The majority of the session was spent talking about how Thanksgiving went and my concerns about surgery.  I just need to get this big issue out of the way so I can focus on my transition again.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I have a date

Yes, you read it right ... I have a date with my surgeon.

Wait ... that doesn't sound right.  I know the date for my surgery.  I will have the tumor in my chest removed December 17 ... Merry Christmas, Tiff.

I am a little bizarre when it comes to stuff like this.  I like to know, be told, or research what tools and techniques will be used for a procedure.  I stumbled across a site that shows the method that will be used to open my chest.  I do not know why they opened this guy up, but it is the procedure my surgeon described to me in our first appointment.  I cannot say that seeing the pictures makes me feel good, but at least I know what they will do to me.  I will warn you before you click on the link that the pictures are a bit graphic:

I am scared ... Aren't I always?  I'm afraid of the pain, the possible complications, the possible long term issues, the time I will be sedated.  Mostly I am worried about my wife.  This entire event has been horrible for her causing multiple anxiety attacks and worsening depression.  We have had conversations about our fears, but when push comes to shove, I get to sleep while she sits and worries.  She is very strong ... stronger than me.  I don't think I could handle being in her position.
In a strange way I worried about being outed as a transsexual, but in another way I hope I am.  Nothing bad would happen if I accidentally said who I am would it?

I don't know.

I do know that I am having the facial part of my beard lasered this week so I might look a bit more feminine.  I plan on wearing slightly feminine clothing to and home from the hospital.

 At this point I am just rambling and not accomplishing much.