So I woke up the morning before yesterday with severe pain in my left side of my face. My teeth are in really bad shape (genetics, lack of insurance/funds and 5 years of Nevada water have all contributed to this) and I have one on that side that died a few years back. That night the weather changed abruptly and my left sinus got clogged full. The pressure pushed on the root of that dead tooth, and the whole thing just hurt. I tried to tough it out, but when I was on 2 Aleve, 2 xtra-strength Tylenol and 2 mg of post-surgical hydromorphone and the pain was still bad enough that I was sweating and shaky and nauseous, I realised I had to go to the doctor.
It turned out to be not nearly as expensive as I'd feared. $50 for the doctor's visit - they only charge about 40% of their usual fee to cash patients, thank the gods. He gave me Percocet and penicillin. And I decided it didn't hurt anything to ask, so at the end of the appt. I mentioned that I had hypogonadism and had to inject testosterone, and had run out. And he wrote me a new prescription! Just like that! Unfortunately, after I'd filled it I realised it was for 1 mL vials, but he said if he hadn't put it in the computer right he'd happily correct it.
So part of me is bothered by the transphobia implicit in the fact that, if I don't disclose I'm trans (and my documents and presentation allow me to "pass"), this medication is available to me without any hassle or questions or hesitation but if I do disclose there are (generally; I can't speak for this clinic) all sorts of delays and tests and checks "for my own good" - but mostly I'm just thrilled I don't have to sit and watch my changes unravel because I can't afford to see a doctor. I just need to talk to the pharmacy and see if I can get the size of the vial straightened out.
First of all, I want to apologise for it having been so long since I updated. Though I've been busy like crazy, that isn't why. It turns out that my sense of this as a "safe space" for me to talk freely about my feelings and experiences is actually pretty fragile, and it was disrupted. Admitting that was a blow to my pride, however, and so I've been procrastinating.
The truth is, the things I talk about in this journal are sensitive. They are intimate, often taboo things that people have very strong feelings about. What I write is likely, at times, to bother or offend people. You have a couple of choices on how to handle this:
1. You have the right to decide not to read any post I make.
2. You have the right to read the post, decide I'm an arsehole, and unfriend me. I'll be sad to see you go and probably a bit upset if you do it without an explanation, but I won't hold it against you.
3. You have the right, as my friend, to tell me something I've said is fucked up and hurtful, and why, and then have a dialogue with me about why I said it, why it was wrong and how (or if) I can fix it. I welcome this - hell, more than that I'm eager for it. The only way any of us figure out when we're in the wrong is through the intervention of others, and it's generally a nicer experience when it's done by a friend.
However, you do NOT have the right to come onto my personal journal, tell me I'm not allowed to say certain things in my own space about my own experience because I'm "silencing" others (please look up the definition of "silencing" again, kthx), tell me that because of one comment I made I deserve to be prevented from making informed choices about my own body in the future, and then disappear and refuse to talk to me.
Okay, so I suppose you have the 'right' - I don't screen comments, after all - but I won't like or respect you much afterward.
I'm just human. I don't know everything. I have some pretty messed up, unfair and ugly feelings sometimes. News flash: everyone does. I have some opinions that others disagree with, sometimes violently. I do make an ongoing effort to recognise and analyse my own biases and irrationalities and then, if appropriate, change the opinions I've formed based on them - but just because you disagree with me doesn't mean I'm wrong. And even when none of the above are true, sometimes I phrase things wrong and they read completely differently than what I actually intended.
This blog is not a polished work, designed to accurately educate the greater public. It's not even a memoir, rough edges smoothed out and everything neatly lined up to show theme and character growth. It is - and always has been - a raw, painfully honest, immediate record of what's going on in my head and my heart as I turn my life upside down and figure out who I am and what I want. I'm pleased and honoured that others have decided to come along with me and watch as I take this journey, but I'm not writing this blog for you.
I'm writing it for me.
No matter that my driving license has had an M on it for months, today is the day I truly became a man.
Today I changed my first tire.
Lol, this post is mostly ironic. It's a ridiculous stereotype and sexist to boot, but I have to admit I did feel pretty manly figuring it out and doing it all on my own.
I got my driving license and Social Security card in the mail today, both with my new name.
In other news, I'm starting to feel very stressed about the yard sale I'm supposed to have this weekend, and the move in general.
I tried to call the surgeon this morning, only to have the receptionist tell me I have to contact the billing office before she could leave a message for me. I guess I'll drop another letter off at his office.
So I tackled Social Security today. My name change went through just fine, despite their confusion about whether I had appropriate ID, as I currently have a temporary driving license and my most current passport is from when I was 3 months old, and was issued in Germany.
I was hoping to get my gender changed as well, but they didn't accept the letter from my surgeon. Apparently it was missing the word "complete". I'm going to try to talk to the doctor tomorrow and see if he's willing to print a new letter with a sentence added saying that the surgery he performed was complete and irreversible. If that doesn't work I'm going to be very unhappy, as it may cause problems at work and will definitely bugger my chances to be stealth at school. At least they were open about being willing to accept a revised letter.
And I really wish that either I could find a way to feel less humiliated by having to discuss my surgical status, or that people would stop asking me to describe my penis in public. D:
The judge signed my name change order on May 4th, and I picked up my copies yesterday. I have my new temporary driving license in my pocket and the real one should be in the mail soon. Tomorrow I'm going to attempt Social Security. :D
So when I got my first prescription for T, I filled it at the local pharmacy, where it's about $100/10mL vial. When I refilled it, we were broke, so I transferred it to APS, a pharmacy in FL that will ship it, where it costs $30/10mL vial. As I used the T from that vial, I suspected it was not as potent as the old stuff had been. This time when I refilled I went back to the local pharmacy. I've only done one shot so far, so it's not like my levels are back where they should be yet, and already I'm noticing a difference. So I think I was right. Which doesn't make any sense - they're both testosterone cypionate, and they're both supposed to be 200mg/mL. But I'm having that deep, protein hunger that means I'm rather suddenly putting on muscle, just like I did when I first started T - and which I haven't been having on the APS vial. It's too soon to know if changes are going to speed up again, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.