Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day zero ...

I held the pills ... contemplating ... wondering ... what power do these pills hold?

I mean, they're not magical ... not really.  But somehow they hold the power to change my life ... to change me.

I stared at them for a moment longer, grabbed the glass of water and entered a whole new world ...

But this is where this entry ends ... let's go to the beginning.

*** Thursday 5/30/13 ***

I left work and headed home.

I took a couple deep breaths as I turned on my blue tooth.  I told Pam I was on my way ... but the strange thing is I wasn't really nervous.  Maybe it would hit me later.

The first stop along the way was D. McBreen's office to pick up the results from my blood work.

Pam got back into the car.  "OK, we're really early.  What do you wand to do?"

It started to dawn on me ... this is really happening.  "I don't know ... maybe just go find a parking space ... wait a bit."

The next handful of minutes clicked by ... I was maintaining a modicum of composure, but could feel the tension building in me.  Thank God Pam was there to keep me mentally balanced.

I put my shoes on and grabbed my purse ... it was time.  Pam and I walked toward the elevator.  There was an elderly lady struggling with the door to the elevator lobby.  I grabbed the handle and pulled it open.

After a short elevator ride we were on the floor.  I almost wanted to sprint to the office, but running in my shoes would not be good.  I checked in with the receptionist and handed over the packet of paperwork Pam and I filled out a couple weeks ago.

Now we wait ...

After just a couple minutes the door opens.  "Tiffanie," a lady's voice called.

I flinched ... Wait, they have my legal name.  How could they ... A young lady across the waiting room stood up.

Soon it was my turn ... Step on the scale (crap) ... Blood pressure (crap, crap) ... Pulse (ok) ... Go over a few questions ... and now we wait again ... ...

"Are you nervous?" Pam asked.

"I think the blood pressure answers that."  I stared out the window trying to not think about the next several minutes ... Would this be a simple appointment?  Would he believe me?  Would he ask a lot of questions and try to get me to say something wrong?  Would he say I'm too fat to start hrt?

The door opened.  Dr. Chochinov walked in and sat on the stool.  "So ... What's up?"

I wasn't ready for that.  "With me? ... As in the reason for the visit today?"  In a matter of a second I had a million thoughts in my mind ... do I just tell him? ... Do I engage in conversation? ... Do I sidestep like I usually do?  I tugged at my top, looked straight into his eyes and said, "I want to start hormone therapy to transition to female."

He smiled.  "Tell me a bit about you."

"How far back do you want me to go?"

"As far as you want."  He leaned back against the wall.

"You mean like when I was three and I knew I didn't feel like a boy?  I knew something was wrong."

He nodded.

"I was the youngest of eight kids," I continued.  "I needed to bury this just to survive.  Then I met Pam when I was 21 and we got married ... We've been happily married for 26 years.  About three years ago I fell into a deep depression, and now I'm dealing with my issue ... I've been in counseling for about a year now."

I could recite the entire conversation verbatim ... complete with facial expressions, hand gestures and how many time sirens drove close enough to the building for us to hear them ... but I don't want to type that much.  I will simply give this recap:

- The doctor immediately started using female pronouns when referring to me.
- He stated that my story was normal.  I am not the only one.  He sees many transgender people.
- He is very concerned about my weight.
- He answered all our questions and put us both at ease.

I will give the quote of the day.  Toward the end of the conversation he grabbed his prescription pad and said, "I'm going to hormone you up and see how you do,"  He explained how and when to take the medication.  He's relatively sure I will be able to cut my depression medication once the hormones really kick in.

I grabbed the paper from him.  There are no words to truly describe the feelings I had at that moment ... the most prominent was relief.  I held it with both hands and stared.  Everything else faded out for a moment as I focused on the writing ... Estradiol and Aldactone ... After all this time.

Tears welled in my eyes.

He wants to see me in three months.  I so love Dr. Chochinov.

Pam and I walked from the office and took the elevator to the parking level.  A man who was on the same level as us held the door open for us as we walked out of the elevator lobby area ... This is the first time a gentleman has held a door open for me.

After a late lunch and a quick shopping trip we dropped the prescription at the pharmacy.  It would be ready Friday.  Although part of my brain was screaming, "Now ... I want them NOW!"  the more realistic part of me was willing to wait another day after waiting 40+ years.

I'm not sure the reality of everything sunk in the rest of the evening at all on Thursday.

*** Friday 5/31/13 ***

Day one of the rest of my life.

Reality hits a bit.  I felt nervous ... anxious as I got ready for work.  Strange that I would feel this way now.

The work day started with Tuti asking about my appointment.  This was a good start ... I was excited about everything, but as I have not officially "come out" to the entire workforce I have very few people
to talk to about it.

I told her about the appointment ... the prescriptions, and I really didn't care if anyone heard me.

She will be an invaluable part of my support when I come out to the drivers.

A bit later I got to talk to Maggie.  She was also very happy for me.  It wasn't a good day for her.  Her corporate baboons are really causing her undue stress over the budget and other reports they want despite the fact that they already have the information ... and Maggie doesn't.

Anyway ...

After work I went to the pharmacy ... a drive through.  "Pick up for Pamela and (insert my birth name)."  I didn't try to alter my voice, but the conversation was a bit interesting.

"We're still filling one for him.  It'll be just a minute."  The tech disappeared from the window.  After a moment he reappeared.  "We don't have enough estradiol to complete the prescription.  Tell him we are giving a partial prescription and he can pick up the rest on Tuesday."

"OK.  Thank you,"  I said.

He could not have possibly thought I was Pam ... maybe he was just unsure ... if only I had the voice down.

After a couple of errands I hurried home.  I could practically taste the start of the real me.

I opened the bags and grabbed the bottles ... I paused, reminiscing over all the times I have wanted to transition and chickened out.  "This is it," I muttered.  My hands trembled as I counted out my first dose of womanhood.

I held the pills ... contemplating ... wondering ... what power do these pills hold?

I mean, they're not magical ... not really.  But somehow they hold the power to change my life ... to change me.

I stared at them for a moment longer, grabbed the glass of water and entered a whole new world ...

As a humorous post script to this entry ...

Pam and I took Sedona (our niece) to get a late bite to eat.  We got to the cashier, Pam and I were standing together and Sedona was a little bit behind us.

"Your total is $8.57."  The cashier extended her hand waiting for payment.

"I'm paying for hers, too," Pam said.

"That includes hers," the cashier replied.

I realized immediately what was happening.

"This includes hers?"  Pam seemed confused.

"Yes," said the young lady.  "Yours and hers."

I started giggling.

"This includes these two and hers?"  Pam gestured to Sedona.

"Oh ... no.  Just yours and hers, not all three."  She plucked a couple keys on the register.  "Your total is $11.34."

That was a perfect way to end day 1.