Archive for the ‘my t zone’ Category
She strode confidently to the front of the room and set her traveler’s mug of coffee and a chestnut satchel on the table by the lectern; exactly like a person who hadn’t mysteriously disappeared without a word months ago. She drew a fat notebook from the briefcase and placed it on the lectern, then flipped it open to today’s lecture.
“Okay, let’s get started, everyone.” Finding her place, noting the surprised murmurs, afraid to look up at the class to see who had stayed.
She looked up. Most had. Good.
See that thing up there? That purple date? That’s when I’m scheduled to have Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS*) with Dr. Pierre Brassard and Dr. Maud Bélanger in Montreal…that’s in Canadia, you guys, our frozen, but warm-hearted neighbor to the north! I just made the appointment a few days ago after weeks and weeks of scurrying around like a secretive, paperwork-collecting little mouse.
I started scurrying in mid-April after discovering that I could borrow most of the money from my retirement account. The place I work has a program where you can loan yourself the money and then pay yourself back over time at a low interest rate (it’s just over 2.5% right now). When I started looking into it, I saw that I could take out a loan for around $15,000, which is most of the cost of surgery these days.
Finding out I could get the money was major big thing. Like, I had always planned on having surgery at some point in the murky, distant future, but the cost made it seem like it was effectively out of reach, especially while I’m still in graduate school and paying off a car loan. Which was unfortunate because after one boyfriend, I decided I’d had quite enough of pre-op intimacy, thank-you very much. And I love intimacy! I had resigned myself to an unhappy/bitchy chastity, so, believe me when I say I was really excited about the money thing.
I emailed the two most well-known surgeons in North America (Dr. Marci Bowers and Dr. Pierre Brassard) and asked about their fees and wahtnot. Dr. Bowers’ rate is $22,500 and Dr. Brassard charges $18,040 (Canadian). Honestly, I chose Dr. Brassard for his lower price, but he has an excellent reputation as a caring and experienced surgeon. There are more affordable options in Thailand and in the United States, but the choice, for me, was always (and only) between those two.
Along with the price quote, Dr. Brassard’s office sent a welcome packet which contained his list of requirements for scheduling a surgery date. Basically, I had to submit a letter of recommendation from two different therapists and one from my endocrinologist (who’s also my GP and primary care physician) and a health history questionnaire. I already had one therapist and we had discussed her crafting a surgery letter for me from the start of our sessions together. While she worked on my letter, she referred me to another therapist for the second letter.
Seeing the second therapist sucked. A lot. It had been a long time since I’d discussed anything major with my primary therapist (and I rarely see her), but I had to resurrect everything for the new therapist over one, 90-minute session. I’m generally happy with where I’m at in my life right now, but that session made it seem like things were mucho shitty-o up until a few years ago. And they were! But I guess my powers of repression and survivor’s optimism are terrible and mighty; it’s always been easier for me to look forward. I wasn’t raped or molested or raised in an oppressive religious environment, but I’ve had very little real stability in my life (combined with some epically bad parenting) and it’s always been easier for me to burn bridges and reinvent myself…for lots of reasons.
With that ordeal out of the way, I collected my GP’s letter and emailed the whole shebang up to faraway Montreal on June 30th. And then I waited. Ugh. I fucking hate waiting, you guys! I mean, I guess most people do, but I’m pretty sure I hate it the most…or I’m at least in the top ten. Probably.
Moving on…I received my first date offer two weeks later. November 20th, 2011. Holy crap, I thought, that’s in 4 months! (I was expecting something in the next 12-18 months). And then I thought some more. That’s in the middle of Thanksgiving week, about three weeks away from the end of my school semester and two months away from the end of this year-long major work leadership thing I’ve been on (oh yeah, I guess we haven’t talked about that). I’ll need to take about six weeks off of work, and twelve of those days will be spent in Montreal. I rejected that date the next day; there wasn’t any way to make it fit. Also, my sister said she wanted to be there with me (aww!), so I tried to think of a date that worked for both of us. As it turns out, her school has the weirdest schedule, and there was literally only one acceptable week between now and December 2012, and they’re “on standby” that week, whatever that means. So I picked the next best week: May 9th, 2012.
I think it’s a good date. I’ll be out of school for the summer and I should be able to work from home for the last of the six weeks (give or take) I plan on taking off. My sister won’t be there with me the entire time, but that’s ok; I’m hoping my mother will be there for the rest.
It seems like a long way off, but it’s not even a year and I think it will go by fast. There’s still a lot to do, but I think I’ll have time to get my passport, lose weight/exercise more, and finish all the 1,001 other things I have to do without feeling harried.
Now that that’s all done, I’m feeling all of the feelings, you guys. Like, I’m happy that I can close out that last part of transition, but I’m also worried about almost everything. Surgery is dangerous and it may not “fix” anything. Recovery will take a long time and there’s still so much left to do. Oh, and let’s not forget about the money! THE MONEY! I’m guessing those are the reasons that I’m feeling like there’s a green cloud of creeping dread that’s slowly choking the life out of me right now. I’m sure it will pass, but so far, not cool, brain. Do you think all that’s a good enough reason to get a Valium prescription until then? How awesome would that be? THE ANSWER IS SO AWESOME!
Anyway, consider yourself updated, old blog. I’ll post more here or on tumblr when something else exciting happens. Until then, please distract me or buy me some ice cream or something, ok?
*a.k.a. Genital Reconstruction Surgery, Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), gender confirmation surgery, sex change, vaginoplasty, etc.
|Mood:||Wubba wubba Wednesday|
|Music:||Current 93-Red Hawthorne Tree|
Holy cats, you guys! I’m actually writing a Blog, Sweet Blog post for its own sake and not just reposting mah tumblrs. Don’t get me wrong, tumblr is my new spiritual home and the place I spend most of my time, but we’ve been through a lot, this blog and I, and I can’t stop loving it just because its not tumblr. Besides, this post is relevant to Blog, Sweet Blog‘s interests, which is why I’m posting it here first.
It’s my anniversaries!
I started this blog (well, posted first anyway) on April 23, 2008, or 2.0767 years ago, give or take. I can’t begin to tell you how important this blog has been to me. It wasn’t ever about attracting readers or experimenting with practical narcissism (those came later). I’ve always considered this blog to be a safe place for dumping the crazy, discussing whatever, and letting the air out of my head. I’ll be getting to this in a minute, but it’s easy for me to forget how turbulent the first six months of HRT were for me. I had just ended a three year long relationship with, until that point, the person I loved most in the world and I was in the middle of chemically altering my body and mind. I felt unhinged most of the time and happysadangryhyperdepressedenergeticlazy the rest — but not in a bad way, if that makes sense; it felt right and weird. Anyway, I don’t think I would have done as well if I hadn’t blogged and exercised.
My little blog, bless her, has changed with me. I’ve struggled with moving from more of a personal/transition journal to an everything blog featuring my thoughts and creative work. I’m still not sure of where I want to take it, but I kind of like that it’s all over the place.
I started HRT on June 6th, 2008. I had started some other transition processes before then (started seeing a therapist, my doctor), but I think it’s fair to call that date the start of my transition. So, let’s see, that makes me 1.097 years old, in a way. I won’t ever be celebrating my “new birthday” (the old one is just fine) but I do keep the date on my calendar. Like I said above, a lot has happened since then (here are the big ones). I think the process of transition is never ending, but I feel much closer to the end almost two years later. There are still more physical changes to endure (bottom surgery, the neverfuckingending weekly electrolysis), but I feel like I might have finally graduated to late puberty, at least emotionally.
The last anniversary occurred 1.0548 years ago when I changed my name and started back to work as the real me, the girl named Anna. Life has gotten kind of weird since then, but work has always felt like a safe place. I’ve had better and worse days, but no one has ever made me feel uncomfortable or anything but loved and valued. I know that my experience, sadly, is not the norm and I can’t fairly attribute the ease of my work transition to any more than luck…ok, maybe a little bit of preparation and moxy helped .
Still, I’ve struggled with my career choice. I really don’t think I would have become an engineer if I would have transitioned earlier. I’m not 100% sure I’ll stay an engineer until retirement, but I feel a lot better about it than I did a couple of months ago. If I won the lottery or totally stopped caring about my current life, I’d move to New York or Paris and trade engineering to become a professional artist/bon vivant/salonnière/cultural maven/woman-about-town. There aren’t any plans to move in the near future, but I’m working on my writing and art in the meantime, just in case.
So that’s it, you guys, happy anniversary/birthday to me and Blog, Sweet Blog!!! I hope the following years are way easier/better than the last two.
|Music:||Bauhaus-The Man With The X-Rays Eyes|
So, like I said, I have encountered nought but a string of clueless, mouth breathing, dimwits on the Internet since John and I broke up. Sorry, that sounds mean. I meant to say, I’ve been meeting a lot of quivering, lumpy, shit-for-brains, fucktards who don’t know the difference between a fuckin’ lady and wet towel-snapping their bro’s pasty, middle aged, wake-me-up-when-you’re-done-having-sex-with-me-you-boring-wanker ass online lately. What, too much?
It’s my own fault, really. I assume that showing a straight guy any interest, pre-surgery, is a waste of time and will mostly end in tears. So I sit and wait to pounce upon whichever gentleman of quality happens to stop by my online love shack. Sadly, very few suitable suitors do…stop by my shack, that is.
The less suitable suitors send me these dumb letters or try to instant message me. I think this bit from my online dating profile clears up my feelings on both…
Send me a message if…
…actually, don’t instant message me at all, I kind of hate it. But feel free to send me a thoughtful, interesting letter if you think you’re not a dullard, have something in common with me, and aren’t going to waste my time.
Ok, that sounds harsh. I’m actually a nice girl, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who are really into me right up until they read my profile or who are wholly incapable of expressing themselves with words. I like words. I like people who know how to use words. I really like wordy people who really like me
Keep that in mind. I loathe instant messaging (there are exceptions) and I really like people who know their way around the words. Here’s a recent letter…
Hi gorgeous….How are you today?
Yep, that was the whole letter. I suddenly had a case of the bitchy regrets, so I sent a him a non-committal reply…
To which he replied, a week later…
Such wordsmith… -ery? -ing? -inosis? I kind of wanted to mail him my panties with the words, “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” scrawled on the backside in gold glitter nail polish. But then I thought of the children, and my mother. Neither would approve.
I also get…
interesting story. wanna chat?
Not in the slightest, but I thank you for asking! And…
Very attractive. I read your profile and like it. I also like that you are bisexual. I think bisexual women make the best lovers. Would like to hear from you.
Hmm, where should I start. No. Gross? What? Really? Actually, that one had a sort of European, man-whore, bravado, charm to it. But still, no. Another?
Nice pic and profile, would be nice to get to know you. sorry i am not writing more at the moment, i have to crash lol, its really late
Aww, thanks for writing, Sunshine. Tell your Mom I said hi!
Another guy keyed in on my one line profile joke about working in a secret government lab, because all of us enginerds do. He was cute and had a very good profile, so I indulged him…
Him: was it the san dimas lab or were you out in NM? Not that I know anything
Me: No, not that one, but I have been to Los Alamos! I work for another, non-secret lab in Colorado You profile reminds me of mine…long, interesting, wordy, partly in French…ok maybe not French, but complex and interesting.
Him: well you have to make yourself stand out somehow in this crazy world! So what were you up to at these labs of ours? I have no desire to ever be attached to any of these establishments but then again how else am I going to get cool stories to tell at the watering holes when I am old and decrepit?
Me: I went to Los Alamos as side trip during a Santa Fe vacation. I’m an engineer at a lab here. We do communications research.
Him: So did you have a TS security clearance?
I think he was trying to offer me a job or recruit me for…something. Even though my profile says I’m looking for “new friends”, it’s a lie. I’m really looking for my other half. I’ll take friendship as a consolation prize or as the start of passionate love affair, but shooting the breeze about our national research infrastructure doesn’t seem like fun to me and those aren’t the kind of friends I’m looking for.
And finally, this guy…
Him: Do you believe in in monogomy? I’m naive, I admit it!
Me: I guess I believe in realistic monogamy. I don’t think humans are really programmed to be with one person for their entire lives, but I am still looking for a long-term, non-cheating relationship with a single person. Why, what do you believe?
Him: Well, I’m heterosexual, so I just didn’t know if it’s easier for me to be monogamous than you as a person attracted to both sex’s. I guess I believe unlike you that it IS possible to be with one person your entire life…at least that’s what I hope for! (:
Me: As far as I know, there is no correlation between sexuality and monogamy. Regardless, I’m trying to find that one person as well.
Him: So what do [sic] like most/worst about dating? (:
He should have known I’d had enough by my second response; I tend to drop the science and the big words when I get mad. Then again, he prolly should have known not to assume that bisexuality is on par with worshiping the devil, genocide, and smothering puppies.
Hrrm, this is getting to be extra-long and, unfortunately, there’s more to share. How’s about we meet back here next time? We can talk about the “winkers” and online dating Do’s and Don’ts (ok, mostly Don’ts) next time!