Friday, October 10, 2014

    Good evening. Welcome to... Difficult... Listening Hour. The spot on your dial for that relentless and impenetrable sound of... Difficult... Music. c. c. c. c. c. c. c.
    So sit bolt upright... in that straight-backed chair... Button that top... button.. and GET SET... for some... Difficult... Music. (Laurie Anderson, "Difficult Listening Hour")

    It's finally happening! After all the decades of wondering whether I was crazy for wanting to be something other than I am, it's finally happening! This rather pleasant development has both good & bad points, I've since found out... Let me start at the beginning.

    I am transgender. Boy coating, girl filling. I first had the tiniest inkling at age 14. For whatever reason, at that age, I began to imagine what my life would have been like if I was a girl (as I am now on my way to being) instead of a boy, which is how I was born. Back in the early 1980's, when this was all happening to me, this sort of thing was a curiosity at best. There was no internet back then, so I couldn't look anything up to find out any information about being as I was.

    I tried many different ways to push away those feelings: drugs, college, more drugs, moving to Florida (I was originally from a small town in upstate NY, north of Albany, near the VT border), moving back from Florida, marriage, fatherhood, moving back in with my dad, moving to Ohio...

    Well, all was well, and the crazy, silly feelings I had (because I couldn't REALLY be a girl, could I?!? Naaaaaawwwww... I wasn't one of THOSE people...) were kept on the back burner... UNTIL...

    April 24, 2014... My entire right arm swelled up pretty badly. I went to Urgent Care... it cost me $100 to even be SEEN by them... They were STUMPED. They sent me to Bethesda North Hospital's emergency room. Their doctor saw me for all of ten minutes in my four-and-a-half hours there. I was given ONE tiny Xarelto (blood thinner) tablet, as blood was inexpertly taken from my left arm. (They had to try three times to get enough blood from me for testing... which left me with a  bruise the size of  silver dollar on the inside crook of my left elbow.)

    They called me back in the next morning for an ultrasound, to see if there were any blood clots. I underwent the scan. The result said that I had had no blood clots in my arm, which I was happy about. They told me what the problem WASN'T, but couldn't tell me what it WAS...

    They suggested that I see my PCP (Primary Care Practitioner, an acronym I had some trouble adjusting to...). I didn't HAVE one of those, so I asked around, & got the name of a nice doctor affiliated w/The Jewish Hospital . I went to see him, & he put me on antibiotics, diagnosing my condition as an infection. The antibiotics DID make my right arm slightly smaller... He was very good!

    Then I went in for another appointment... They said the arm wasn't returning to "normal" (as IF I've EVER been normal!!! lol) as quickly as they thought it might... (At its largest, my bicep was 43 cm around... The antibiotics had gotten it down to 36 cm in circumference...

    They pulled me in for another ultrasound, at The Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. I was looking forward to the results, because I wanted to find out what was going on. They called me & said, "Call in to work, because we're admitting you to the Hospital." Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa?!?

    Turns out that I had a couple of blood clots in my upper right arm... exactly the OPPOSITE of what Bethesda North had said just a month earlier! (They showed me pics... I don't believe that those clots could've developed in just a month...)

    So... I was hooked to a Heparin (blood thinner) IV. Laying there in the hospital, really unable to sleep for more than like an hour-and-a-half at a time; I began to think about my life. Why did my life seem like a long series of bad decisions?!? What was the reason behind it? Why had I done all of the drugs?!? What feelings had I been trying to push away?

    THAT was when I realized... <gasp> OMG, I'm a girl!!! The more I tried to deny it, and the more I thought about it, the more it smacked me in the face. I realized it at last; after thirty-four years of denial. I AM FEMALE. However, there's that nasty business of me having an entirely male body to consider... What to do?!?

   Well, I began to see a gender therapist. They were really nice, & a good listener... & got me in touch w/another doc who prescribed me Spironalactone & Finasteride (no Estrogen yet, because of the Coumadin my PCP put me on)

    Fast forward to now. I have been on Spiro & Finasteride since 8/28/14... & I'm waiting til I get off the Coumadin so I can find a doc to put me on E...


    Questions? Comments?!? Thoughts? Let me know!!! (This IS my FIRST blog, after all...)