Friday, June 28, 2013

The electric chair and other fun

So I am officially entering week 5 of HRT.

Considering the fact that I never thought I'd start hormones ... or at least not any time in the foreseeable future, I am truly ecstatic over my progress.  I can't help but giggle as I see how things are falling into place ... like the stars have aligned ... as if it is truly my destiny.

But I digress ...

Tuesday and Wednesday I didn't feel well ... I stayed home from work.  I was particularly bummed about Wednesday because I had my consult with my electrologist.  Luckily I was feeling well enough to make it.

Technically it was my second consult.  I visited her last year before I started any hair removal ... she suggested that laser would be better for me.  That to me made her more credible and caring than most businesses ... most people.  Of course she would be on the top of my list when I was ready to rid my slowly smoothing face of the annoying white hairs.

I entered the office ... she didn't recognize me.

We had a short talk and then it was time for the test.

I am relatively sure my blood pressure tripled at that moment.  "Here's your magic wand," she said as she handed me something that looked like a panic button.  It was a metal rod wrapped in a wet paper towel, and there was a wire leading to the machine.  "This takes the electrical current ..."

I know she kept talking, but her words faded behind my imagination ... Electrical current passing through my body ... Wow ... and OWW ... and ...

"OK.  I'll start off low."  A slight prick, nothing more.  "Can you tolerate this?"

"Yes."

Same procedure, one step higher ... same result.  Another step higher ... same.

Now, it was not completely painless, but it was so much less than I imagined ... so much less than movies have portrayed.

I have an appointment on July 9 for a 1/2 hour session.

After the consult I was messing around on the computer.  Sedona came in from her car ... she seemed upset.  "My car won't start."

I quickly went into helpful "Aunt Tiffie" mode ... ... Oh, to hear someone actually call me Aunt Tiffie.  I'd probably burst into tears of joy ... but anyway, I went to move my car into position to jump start hers.  For some reason I opened the hood before I moved it ... and ... well ... There was gasoline spraying onto the hot engine.

Crap!

OK ... Duct tape the fuel line to prevent it from spraying on the engine, but now my poor baby is out of commission.

Now the sad part is, this is not the first time my vehicle has had a fuel leak ... My Toyota pick-up was leaking from the fuel pump onto the exhaust manifold ... my last car had a fuel leak from a fuel line that was in the fender frame area ... I don't recall if it was my last car, or this one that was leaking fuel onto the engine ... not this car was spraying fuel onto the engine.  If you want to visit ancient history, my brothers car sprang a gas leak after I started riding in it.

What is it about that makes cars want to commit suicide??

Well, I jumped Sedona's car with Pam's car ... And we had my car towed to the mechanic.

Thursday went pretty well.  My car got fixed ... Pam got to spend a little time with Timmy ... I got caught up on what little work I missed ... and I told the driver who helps in my office that I am transitioning to female.

Patricia has helped in my office for many years.  Several years ago she told me her husband was a cross dresser.  I know she had issues with this early on, so I didn't want to wait and tell her with the rest of the training department just in case she had an unusual reaction.

She didn't.

She said, "OK."  Then she turned to go back to work.

We wound up having a wonderful discussion.  I learned that her husband is also taking hormones ... and that he is pretty much living fully female, except at his work.  I also lr=earned that Patricia is planning on raiding his (her) wardrobe after she loses a bit of weight ... giggle.

Thursday evening I had an appointment with Catharine.  Pam and I were a bit rushed ... we had just picked up my car and were debating whether we had time to grab a bite before the visit ... we didn't.  We did order a couple burritos.  While Pam picked up our dinner I sat in the parking lot and try to hurry on my makeup.

I think I over did it a bit ... but I did get it done with only one small eye poke.

I was a little disappointed in the session ... not with Catharine or what we talked about, but with myself.

I have worked on my female voice for the past three weeks.  It is not close to ready, but occasionally I get it right and surprise myself.  It reminds me of learning to play the trumpet ... I tried and tried, but usually wound up squawking like an injured goose ... then I didn't.  In fact, I made first trumpet in 6th grade.  This really upset the eighth grader who figured his seniority guaranteed him first chair.

Right now I'm a squawking goose ... soon I will be a swan.

I really don't know why I didn't try my voice ... my vocal chords are a bit tired from practicing, and I had a little congestion in my throat ... but I could have, and should have tried.

Next time ... I promise.

Right now I am preparing for the inevitable invasion from my family ... every summer ... every July ... it's tradition.  What is annoying is the past few visits it has been up to Pam and I to generate the discussion of when they will be arriving and leaving.

This year we haven't ... and I do not know for sure when they are coming.  But if they get here and we do not have things ready, I will not feel guilty, and I will not hurry to fix things.

I don't totally hate these visits, I just wish they would treat all of us here with a bit more respect.

I also have been debating how I will be presenting while they are here.  I refuse to regress and hide, but I also refuse to intentionally antagonize what is possibly a very uneasy situation.

The past several years they have seen me becoming and presenting less and less in male form.. The past 2 years specifically I have worn more feminine clothes, dangly earrings and whatnot.  This year I'm sure they will notice more ... it's whether they choose to ask me or not,

If they ask I will answer ... but there will be no grand "coming out."  They have shown little interest in anything else I have done with my life ... why should I go out of my way to include them in this celebration?  But if they choose to ask ... if they choose to accept me, I will not exclude them.

I am working Monday through Wednesday, so whoever is here will see me carrying my purse and wearing my earrings.  I am not worried ... I truly do not care if they find out ... if they already know ... if they read this blog.  I just want to move forward with my life ... and if they choose to be a part of it, that is fine ... if they choose to not be part of it I feel sorry for them and their loss.

So what about today??

Today is hot and miserable, but it is cleanup day.  We are doing little bits at a time, then resting ... ... Oh, and I have a kidney stone.  Damn!!  And OW!!  It is not a horribly painful one, but it still hurts.  Luckily I have a small vicodin stash ... between that and drinking a gallon or so of water I think I should push it through quickly.






Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just my imagination

So week three on hormones has passed by relatively uneventfully.

I continue to ask myself how much I am simply imagining, or possibly anxiously anticipating when it comes to the estrogen therapy.

I mean ... there are so many people who have been on this journey much longer than me who have documented their experiences.  So many have stated that they neither felt nor observed no substantial changes for many weeks after starting hrt.  Some have flat out said that if I think something is happening in less than three months that I'm imagining it ... yet several have been emphatic that they have noticed some changes in days.

Everyone is different.

One of my concerns going into this step of transition is that I always seem to have a very high tolerance to medications.  If my body resists the estrogen in the same manner it resists other medications it will be a very long and arduous transition.

It hasn't.

In fact my body has seemed to thrive and come alive on estrogen ... or possibly from the lowering of my testosterone.  It's almost as if I was starving  ... and now my body ... my brain is being fed.

It is likely that many of the changes I have felt are due to the excitement of entering this new phase of my life ... or caused as I slowly release the grip on the security blanket that was my facade.

I may never know.

What I do know is I am not imagining all the things that are happening to me.

It is possible that I was imagining very early psychological changes ... I have not imagined the hot flashes.

It is possible that I was imagining my nipples being a little sore ... I am not imagining the beginning of buds forming.

It is possible that I imagined a level of euphoria as my brain was exposed to estrogen ... I was not imagining the mood swings, the bitchiness, the PMSing of the last couple days.

I possibly noticed my skin appearing smoother, or a little less oily because I want to see it ... I did not imagine my primary doctor telling me that my face is looking smoother already.

I really love the feel of my makeup brushes on my face.  They were part of my father's day gift ... the best father's day I have ever celebrated.  There is something soothing, and yet exhilarating about their gentle touch.  I could (and have) just swiped the easily around my cheeks just to enjoy the sensation ... I never thought I was a girly girl, but I so love my makeup ... pampering myself.  I still need to work on my techniques, but I think I'm getting better.  Pam said she would give me some pointers because I look like I'm struggling with my mascara.

Duh!!  I am so a makeup rookie.

I am enjoying the learning process ... and I so appreciate Pam's help ... everyone's help.

I am beginning to understand that the perception of being female ... the manner in which I project my femininity is not a linear, one dimensional snapshot of myself.  It is more like a continuously changing sculpture ... beautiful fabric swaying in a gentle breeze ... a multifaceted crystal moving in the light.  I am not trying to be feminine.  I am allowing myself to be me.  When I try to force people to notice that I am a woman is when I draw attention to the fact that I am not always comfortable with myself ... I create a snapshot drawing attention to the flaw I am trying to hide.

These snapshots can quickly unravel the my fabric.

Last night Pam, Sedona and I spent a girls night out.  I wasn't trying to be female ... I was merely being relaxed and enjoying my time.  The makeup, clothes and purse are common now ... every day common ... I don't even think about it any more.  What was different was my voice and mannerisms ... I didn't think ... I didn't force ... I just was.

I do have to concentrate on my voice ... and my voice was not nearly very good last night, but even when it dipped back into dude range I was ma'amed ... the group of us were called ladies.

It was great ... and it felt (to me) like we were a group of women out having a good time.

We decided to go see the Star Trek movie after dinner.  None of us had seen it yet, but we had heard good things about it.

I won't do any spoilers in case you haven't seen it yet, but I will say that I figured out many of the plot aspects very early in the show.  I wanted to see how they work the plot ... how they would separate it from previous movies of years ago.

It was fabulous.

Yet, despite the fact that I knew pretty much what was going to happen ... despite the fact that I know it is a story, and there are always twists to stories ... when the emotional, gut wrenching of the movie arrived, I cried.

Not a sniffle, sniffle cry ... a tears running down my face and no way to control it cry.

I was afraid I ruined my makeup, but other than that it was such a satisfying feeling.

After the movie Sedona got separated from Pam and I as Pam took a phone call.  After the call Pam went to the restroom while I waited in the lobby.  I kind of had to go, but not very much ... and the theater restroom was very busy ... yes, I was a little intimidated.


When Pam came out we still did not know where Sedona was.  If we both left the theater to check the car we could not enter again, so Pam waited inside and I walked out.

A moment of realization.

I am no longer appear to be the semi-intimidating man that many would not want to mess with.  Whether or not anyone thought I was truly female was no longer a thought on my mind.  I was in a very public place, very exposed to whoever would perceive me as an easy target ... to steal my purse ... or whatever.

I felt vulnerable.

Sedona reunited with Pam inside the theater and we all met right outside the door.

The final spontaneous decision ... ice cream at the Ben and Jerry's store just down the street.

Such a wonderful night.








Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Confirmation and confidence

So really ... how much can happen in just a few days?

Not a lot ... but enough.

On Sunday Pam and I went to PetSmart to get like tons of cat food for the 13 cats loitering on our property ... 7 indoor cats, one who is trying to become an indoor cat, the feral cat and her four babies ... ... I really am becoming the crazy cat lady.

But anyway ...

We collected the supplies and headed to checkout.  As I was unloading the cart the cashier began talking to me.

Shit ... I didn't want to speak, but I didn't want to ignore her.  I had to try to sound female.

She didn't react.  In fact she continued to chit chat as she scrambled around the counter to scan a couple items with her price gun so we wouldn't have to lift them.  "Do you need help to your car?"

"No thank you."  I placed the bag of treats back into the cart.

"Are you sure?" she insisted.  "We can send someone to help you ladies lift the heavy items into your car."

Pam explained that we had a person in the car.  That was the truth, but I was still going to do the lifting.  After we got outside Pam told me I sounded female.  I was talking soft, like I was shy, but definitely female sounding.

I was elated.  This was a huge confirmation that I am actually making progress.  However, I must get used to the perception that I am a woman and must need help ... this is something I didn't consider, or at least didn't realize I would be dealing with so soon.

On Monday I decided to show Tuti, the operations supervisor at my company, a picture of me wearing makeup.  She already knows I am transitioning, but I have never shown her any pictures of me outside work.  Her office is right outside the dispatch area where several drivers were congregating.

"If I show you this picture don't say anything," I said.

OK.  I won't."

I handed her my cell phone with the photo displayed.

"Oh my gosh," she blurted.  "You're a pretty girl!"  She smiled and carried on a bit.

So much for being quiet ... I blushed andgiggled.

In a recent conversation with Catharine I said I do not want to wind up being me in some places or situations and him in others.  This weekend it dawned on me that I'm already there.

This is not a bad thing.

I am female ... I am Tiffanie in more and more situations and more places on a daily basis.  Or maybe to be more specific, I am him less and less.  Even at work I am not completely him, and haven't been for a while.

Now I just need to get used to hearing my name ... responding to my name.

I never thought I'd be at this point in my transition ... I am both anxious and excited about this.  Although legally changing my name and gender on my records will be further I think I'm ready to be called by my real name ... I think.  

I still have much to learn ... my voice needs a lot of work, but I am ready to try.  I'm ready to live






Friday, June 14, 2013

I think I'm addicted

Addicted to enjoying life ... addicted to being me ... addicted to happiness.

Today marks the end of week 2 of hrt.  I am so positive that things are already changing ... not blatantly or obviously ... in fact, not even too much physically.  I just feel incredible ... I cannot describe really describe how or why I feel different ... better, but I do.  It's not that I never felt emotions before now ... I hid them, but they were there.  Now they are becoming more intense ... all emotions, welling inside me.  I am enjoying certain fragrances more ... they are pleasing, calming and satisfying.  But it's more ... it's so much more.

I actually had a craving ... a chocolate craving.

I remember when Pam was pregnant she would say, "I'm craving ... ..." whatever the food was.  I always figured it was something that just sounded good, and she was hungry.  I didn't care, I would get her whatever she wanted ... she always deserves the best.  There was one time I guilted a Baskin Robins employee into keeping the store open so she could get a late sundae.  He go a very good tip.

But I digress.

A couple nights ago I wanted chocolate ... I mean I really wanted chocolate ... or to put it differently, I was truly craving chocolate.  This is yet another thing I cannot describe ... This was not something that simply sounded good.  It was not just that I was hungry.  It was like my body needed something, and I knew I could get it from chocolate.  It was a bizarre feeling, but kind of fun ... as soon as I had a little chocolate.

The next day Pam bought me some emergency chocolate to carry.

I know that the majority if the changes I so desire have yet to occur.  I am trying to be patient, but can hardly to see what will come next week ... next month ... next year.

On the advice of some friends I am starting to look into different glasses frames.  I may just buy another pair rather than simply replace the current ones.  It would give me a backup pair in case something happened.  I have found something I like, and will take the pic to my eye doctor to see if they have something similar.

I remember last year when I initially chose these frames.  I was led into the fitting area ... rows and rows of wonderful, colorful frames.  I was ready to move forward with my transition, but getting glasses that were too girly seemed like a huge step ... but some of the frames were so nice.

"These are the men's frames."  The office assistant sat me at a table and gestured toward a dozen or so frames.

Men's frames ...

I was a bit disappointed, but not ready to ask about the women's frames.  I really had very few to choose from that were wide enough for my head ... and that weren't far too dorky or overly masculine.

They're still too masculine.

I am starting to feel much more comfortable expressing my feminine side ... my true self.  I am hiding less and less at work, and in public.

Today I took advantage of not having my usual pants to wear to work ... I had to choose from either a pair of leggings that Pam has banned me from using (insert sarcastic eye rolling), or a pair of pants that are a tad bit too short ... but just the right length to wear my boots and let them show.

I did not act any different, but I made sure to be seen by a few people.  I even hunted one down to have a conversation about first aid training. I led the conversation to an open door and hoped she would step in.

"If someone tells you they cannot make the class, tell them they have to let me know."  I shifted my feet a bit.  "For some reason they seem to be afraid of me."

"They're not afraid of you," she said.  "They're just trying to figure you out."

"There's nothing to figure out," I replied.  I did a quick mental fist pump for successfully guiding the conversation into my territory.  "Everything about me is pretty straight forward."  I paused.

"I know," she said.  "I accept you because you're still the same.  You just look a little different."  She looked at my boots.  "And apparently are dressing differently, too."

The conversation wound down. after a bit.  I accomplished what I set out to do ... setting an idea in motion about me ... a rumor if you will.

No I can practically hear many people screaming, "Just come out to everyone!!"  And to you I would agree that it would be much easier for me to just tell people ... but I have the HR issue.  Because I chose to go through proper channels and inform my human resources department of my transition I feel obligated to wait for their assistance in the proper arena or method to come out.  This includes telling my drivers, my fellow training supervisors in other yards and the corporate baboons I deal with daily ...

... but if the drivers accidentally discover what is going on ...

Anyway.  After work I went to the pharmacy to pick up a few prescriptions.  I parked in a nearby parking lot and applied some makeup ... nothing major, but noticeable.  I strolled into the store feeling a bit scared ... but wonderful.  The nerves disappeared as soon as I started perusing the cosmetics.

And yes ... of course I bought a few things.

When I went to the pharmacy window the tech was on the phone.  "I'll be right with you, ma'am."

I smiled.

Another tech helped me after a short wait.

"I'm picking up for (my legal name) and Pam Chezum."  I set my purse on the counter.

She did a double take.  "I have 3 for her ... and 2 for him."  She used our names, but never addressed me with either name.

I can only guess and hope that my looks possibly made her think I was female, but I know my voice really ruins the illusion.

Or maybe it's the voice that's an illusion ... one of the last remaining hints of a life that was never real.

I did receive my voice training video and cd.  I've been trying to follow the lessons while driving to work and again going home.  I know it will take time, but I am hoping to hear at least some results relatively soon.

Midnight, the feral cat that hangs out in our yard, has taken her kittens to a different hiding place.  I miss the little guys ... especially Spunky and Shadow.  They are so cute.  Shadow showed up tonight, but the others are still gone.  i hope they come back soon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

One week in

I promised myself years ago that if I ever started hormones that I would not act totally giddy or carry on endlessly about every little change ... ...

Well, that was years ago ... This is today.

The problem with depleting my testosterone and building up my estrogen levels is I know what will eventually happen ... I know the physiological and psychological metamorphosis that will take place ... And that makes it difficult to know if something is actually happening or if it is my imagination ... my expectations that something may be happening.

I tried to keep my expectations low ...

And I found out that I didn't know everything that would happen ... or even how quickly.

On Sunday Pam and I went to Kmart.  We needed a couple of specific things, but generally were just looking around.  This store is always hot, and Sunday was no exception.  As we reached the back of the store I felt like I was overheating from the inside out ... but that doesn't even come close to the actual sensation.  I just knew I was strangely uncomfortable.  I went to the fan display to try and get some air.  They were unplugged.

WTF??


Why??!!

Turn these damn things on NOW!!

As I melted into a puddle of perspiration I caught up with Pam.  I didn't want to interrupt her shopping, but I didn't want to stay in the store.

I survived, and we checked out.

After a brief discussion we figured out it was my very first (but not last) hot flash.  She thinks it's funny that I'm going through this ... and actually, so do I.  If a part of becoming a woman is experiencing things that no man could possibly understand, then I am more than willing to endure this.

The work week was relatively uneventful as far as issues go ... but there were some interesting moments.

By Tuesday I was feeling a bit scatter brained.  This alone is not entirely unusual for me, but there was something entirely different about this particular mental jumbling ... I was entirely giddy and ditsy most of the time.  I figure it is mostly psychological ... the byproduct of the relief I feel for finally realizing a dream ... But some of it must be the hormonal swing.

Tuesday evening there were chocolate covered graham crackers on the counter when I got home.  I am not a huge chocolate lover, but I've enjoyed these since I was young.

I grabbed one ...

Oooh my gaawd!!

Chocolate has never tasted so good.  It was like somebody turned on the light switch and I could finally see how wonderful chocolate was.  Surely this is just an imagined side effect ... wasn't it?

Thursday I woke up with a headache and called in sick to work.  The truth of the matter is I probably could have toughed it out, but I wanted to spend the day with Pam ... I needed to cuddle ... I needed a bit of emotional support.

Thursday turned out great!!

After I felt better, Pam and I went shopping for a few essentials ... earrings, clothing and other necessities.  Every where we went I was called "ma'am" or Pam and I were referred to as "ladies."  But that wasn't the best part ... Pam referred to me with female pronouns!

I was elated beyond words.

I had an appointment with Catharine in the evening.  I always enjoy my conversations with her (no, I'm not just saying that because you might read this ... lol ).  The strange thing is I really don't remember what we talked about.  I cab usually recite, almost verbatim, our conversations even days later.  I do remember one of the topics was my voice ... the muscles necessary to reach higher a higher register ...

I do mess around with a female voice, it just does not sound right.

She asked me to demonstrate my female voice.

I said no ... I did feel bad about this after the appointment.  I just want to ensure I sound I sound at least a trifle female before using the voice to have a conversation.

After I left Catharine's office Pam and I went to a local sushi place for dinner.  "Hi ladies.  Where do you want to sit?" the waitress asked as we walked in.

Well I figured this wouldn't last long.  We were in public and I would be speaking ... I would either be called "sir" or the staff would be confused and not know what to call me.

Nope.

Even when we left the staff said, "Have a nice night, ladies."

I was dumbfounded ... This was a fluke.

Nope.

Friday night Pam and I went to Sizzler.  The cashier used female terms ... the waiter used female terms ... How can this be?  I may look a bit feminine, but my voice is far too masculine for anyone to accept me a female.

But this isn't even why I mentioned Sizzler ...

While we were in line I heard a general conversation behind us.  After a minute I heard a woman's voice say, "How are you two?"  The voice sounded a bit familiar, but I was oblivious to anyone near me.

Patricia, a coworker that helps in my office walked up beside me.  "Hi."

"Oh."  I flinched a bit at the unexpected interruption.  "Sorry, I didn't see you.  How are you?"

We chatted for a moment.  Laura, another coworker caught up with us.

Both treated me very nonchalantly ... like the fact that I was wearing a very feminine top and my hair was styled a bit differently was no surprise.  I don't know if seeing me dressed up answered any questions they may have had, or if it created more.

Neither are true gossip queens, but sometimes they do talk about what they've seen.  I will know Monday whether they said anything ... not that it matters.  It may be better if everyone just knows everything.

One step I did take at work on Friday is not even visible to most.  I changed the signature line on my email.  I changed my male name to "T F Chezum."  I figure this will ease any shock when I legally change my name.

Friday also marked a strange milestone.  One of my cats climber onto me and began kneading my chest ... Egad!  My nipples are sensitive.  Really?  It's barely been a week.

Saturday Pam, Timmy, Sedona and I went traipsing to to Los Angeles.  It's not my favorite place to go, but it is a full day together, and that's better than sitting home alone.

At the first stop Pam and Timmy went into a small shop to pick up a couple things.  I decided to mess with the makeup Pam and I picked up the night before,

While Sedona sat in the back and read I played with some blush, eye liner and eye shadow ... I really had no clue what I was doing.  I have messed with Pam's makeup before, but I never applied it when I was going to be seen by people.

I felt a bit insecure.

When Pam and Timmy got back into the car she looked at me and asked, "Did you put on makeup?"

"Yes."

"Oh my God.  Your eyes are so pretty."  Pam stared at me.  "The makeup brings them out so much."

I was in absolute disbelief.  I felt incredible emotions building inside me ... tears welled in my eyes.  I didn't know what to say ... I couldn't speak ... I just stared back at her.  There are no words to describe how I felt at that moment ... how much I love Pam ... how wonderful I felt after she said my eyes were pretty.

I did not cry ... the eye liner stayed in tact.

I kind of wish my coworkers could have seen me Saturday.


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.