Tuesday, 13 November 2012

24 little hours :)

You know what…  24 hours ago I was ready to do an absolute rant of a post about the uselessness of the UK government agencies, along with a comment of how I can’t wait until I can just get a Dutch passport and leave the entire festering mess behind me.  J

But I won’t, because I have had such an afternoon that my mood has lifted to a much, much better place.  And I am probably healthier for it too.  Oh, the post will come – maybe I’ll have even calmed down enough to downgrade it from rant to just an outpouring of frustration; but not today!

So what has happened to make my mood life so much?  An afternoon in the hospital is what.  Today was my three monthly meeting with the gender team at the hospital.  Plus, as an added treat, I needed to have a bone density test (I think I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago).

Not knowing where the radiology department is I got there really early in case I could not find it.  Erm..  Right next to the entrance.  Oh well, I went to the radiology reception an hour earlier than I should have been there, told the receptionist that I was very early, just wanted to make sure that I knew where I needed to be and that I would grab a coffee in the café and come back in an hour.  No, no – go through to waiting room R2 and we’ll fetch you from there.

OK, I got out my e-reader (love paper books in home, love the e-reader for on the move!) and settled down to an hour or more wait – after all what is the chance of the appointments staying on schedule.

About 10 minutes later I was called in.  Told what I needed to remove, and what I could keep on and then went into the x-ray room.  It was so not what I was expecting.  Instead of the large and scary piece of kit hanging from the ceiling there was a table that looked as though it came from the sick bay in Star Trek.  A flat bed, with an arm coming from one side that could move up and down the bed.

The radiologist measured me (I’m shrinking!  A few months ago I was 176cm, now 175.5!  I always thought I was 178!) and weighed me (no you don’t get to know what!) and at least told me that I have a very healthy weight in the middle of the range (but still at least 5KG more than I want to be!).

I asked if it was going to hurt, making myself sound like a fool.  I could see what the machine was and I could figure out how much it was going to hurt.  Oh well.  She laughed and told me that it I wouldn’t feel a thing (I didn’t) and that all I had to do was lie on the table and it would be done quickly (it was).  You do have to lie in some interesting positions though J

She told me why it was being done, to check that I have no issues with my bones already, and to give them a baseline and I would be called back for another in a couple of years.  If there was any decalcification then I would probably be put on supplements to put the calcium back.  She was really friendly, wished me luck for the future and gave me a wonderful compliment as I left J

One appointment down, three to go!

The next was with my psychologist at the clinic. Again, I was about an hour early and she was surprised to see me there, asking if I did not have an appointment for a bone density test before I should be at the clinic’s reception.  I told her that I had had it already, and that I was very early – I would go to the café for a drink and come back in an hour.  She said that she did not expect her next appointment to take a full hour and to come back in 30 minutes or so.  So I took a walk to the new café at the VU hospital and enjoyed a relaxing 30 minutes reading an awful novel (kind of like watching some bad films; it’s entertainment without having to think too hard!) and drinking quite an acceptable cappuccino. After the 30 minutes I paid the waitress (yup, service in a hospital café!) and went back to the clinics reception.

The appointment with the therapist went brilliantly!  To be fair, except for the issues with the British government (which, naturally, I told her about) things are going well.  After nearly a year it’s so obviously the right decision and I feel so much better for it.  I said that I should have done it a long time ago, but then I wouldn’t be me now so who knows…

At the end of the appointment she said that as it was nearly a year since going full time it would be our last official appointment, that as I was obviously doing so well and that it really is the right thing that in the December team meeting my case would be brought up and there was no doubt in her mind about whether I should continue in the process.  As long as I wanted to.

That is where it gets interesting (skip a bit, of course I want to continue).  I have spent my whole life looking in a mirror and knowing the person looking back at me is me.  Obviously.  But  I have never recognized the person in the mirror.  Until a few months ago, when I started to occasionally, and now most of the time.  I cannot say how weird it feels to actually recognize the reflection for the first time.  Shocking, intense, amazing.  I’m still getting used to it! J When checking myself before leaving the house I see myself in the mirror, not just checking that a reflection is presentable.

And yet…  There are times when you have to get undressed.  And then it’s all a mismatch again and…  I don’t know how to describe it.  It’s kind of like it’s half me.  But, that is the long version of ”Yes, I want to continue!”  I am terrified.  Really.  The thought of another operation, and I think maybe the longest one I have had with possibly the most possibly complications.  Of the recovery time. Of the thought of being under anesthetic again.

Obviously she understood why I was scared and said that it’s understandable J

As I said to her, at the moment I really feel – as I posted a few weeks ago – that I’m reaching the end of a phase.  I only have two appointments with my therapist (outside of the gender clinic) before we stop seeing each other, inside the clinic I have no more official appointments for therapy.  I can make them when I go to see the endocrinologist I can ask for a 15 minute appointment if I want, but she does not need to see me again for the process. My last appointment with the speech therapist is on Thursday – after 11 months of appointments she feels that I am perfectly fine to continue without her. And I should be on the waiting list as of Thursday.

Her comment was quite simple.  It is. Time to live life!

Then endocrinologist tool a look at my last blood test and apparently it was so good that he didn’t need more blood this time (I may have said ‘yea’ at that point ;p) and that everything was looking good.  I said that I was feeling a little tired, but that I was stressed with work at this time of year. He said that as my testosterone was not measurable since March it could be that, and as it is so low I can half my anti-androgen tablets and see what difference that makes.  So we’ll find out.  He also commented on my blood pressure.  I have white coat syndrome.  I see the blood pressure test and I feel my heart rate go through the roof!  It was lower this time than last time (previously 175 over something, and this time 155 over 95) but he is concerned.  When he checks the results of the bone density test (if I hear nothing in the next two weeks then everything is fine) he is going to send a  note to my GP asking her to keep a check me over the coming months.

So…  Get my next three months of hormones in the hospital chemists, and then drive home.

And… In tears – good tears.  After the last three years I was just so…  I don’t know.  Happy (certainly, I was walking through the hospital like the Cheshire cat!), relieved that everything has gone so well so far.  I don’t know.  But it came flooding out whilst driving home!

Now I’m here, with Mrs Stace on the sofa (feeling a little guilty, this is not easy for her and my joy is not hers obviously) drinking an exceedingly good South African Shiraz and relaxing!


Sorry for the long post, it got away from me a little – but feeling this good I had to get it out today whilst it’s still burning its way across my brain!


  1. So happy for you.

    I too have the white coat thing and they don't even wear white coats! I got my GP to use her older non electronic BP measuring device and kept a record up to my op to wave incase they saw something high and it worked, well right up to the last one when she was not there and the nurse tried two electronic ones which broke before we went to another room and I think I broke their health centre record!!

    My thoughts are with Mrs Stace... Clearly she does not find you hideous or you two would probably have parted by now and saved the cost of the new kitchen. I do hope that you can agree on what you both want from and can give to the partnership and wether you can both be happy with where the relationship has evolved to. Clearly every couple are unique and only you can work this one out...

    1. The last time it was really high - 175 over something. This time it was "only" 155 over 95. But the doctor was not happy - someone my age, in my state of health should have a much lower figure. We'll see what my GP says when they get the letter.

      We obviously have a lot of feelings for each other, and are not at each others throats. On the other hand she misses "him" - both visually and the fact that she feels that she has to compete now. I must admit I got it wrong about which part was going to be hardest for her. I thought that the actual transition was going to be the hardest thing, but the operation is so much more final for her.

  2. I can well understand your comments around Mrs Stace. Huge challenges but living with a happy lady rather than a miserable 'male' must make some things easier.

    I cannot believe how time has skipped by - I can still recall your post when you announced your impending transition. I am sure that not all has been plane sailing but despite that operation on the horizon it sounds as though life is good. Lovely to hear

    1. She has been amazing, as I keep on saying. I know that there have been a few discussions about what partners should and shouldn't accept and I can't agree with some that I have seen. The *only* thing that I think you can expect from your partner is to treat you with respect. That I have had so much more than that is something that I find amazing.

      Yup 11 months since full time, 9 months without testosterone and 7 with hormones! And so much happier for it!