A busy past few days
I have a busy week with a lot of appointments. I had two today, back to back. Tomorrow I see my pcp to discuss my cardiac markers and a BP med. I am hoping she listens to me and puts me back on labetalol rather than another med. But if she isn’t open to it, then I will go on what she suggests.
I saw my TG doc today. She had a fellow interview me first. Things went well. The fellow tried to get me a 5mL vial of T but the pharmacy just filled a 1mL vial. I have enough T to last me the next few injections. She also referred me to plastic surgery so I could get a top surgery consult started. I am glad because my pcp never responded to my request from last week. The fellow also answered my concern about whether T had caused the dislocation in my shoulder. It didn’t. I am glad. She did say that because I had removal of my ovaries, I have to be concerned about my bone health. But I am still young enough that I don’t have to go for a bone scan. The only bone scan I want to do is on my shin to see if the CRPS has spread to it. I have been having severe pain for no reason and it is worrying me.
After my TG appointment, I had the chronic pain group, which had already started. I was about fifteen minutes late but they accepted me anyways. We had a good chat about families not getting our disabilities and I told them how rough it was living with my sister who triggers my PTSD often. I also came out to them as transgender and they didn’t seem to care, which I was glad about. We also talked about how our families don’t believe our pain and disability. It was a good group. I did talk about how my therapy session went and got support around it. There maybe future discussions about CBT.
I had therapy yesterday and we talked about my ED visit went. I told her I was freaking out over my lab results, thinking I was having a heart attack. Tomorrow when I see my pcp I am going to discuss what the lab values mean as having this marker in the blood indicates some kind of cardiac injury. I also asked my therapist if we could role play a bit about me asking for the blood pressure medication that I want so that I don’t get turned down. I didn’t want to come off as obstinate but I really think this med will be better as I have been on it before and had little to no side effects from it. We talked for more than a few minutes about it and I wrote down how to approach my pcp on this issue. I just hope I remember.
We then talked about how I feel we are divided and not on the same page about things. That is when she said to me “take the reins”. I was like what? She repeated what she said, adding that I was in charge. I was flustered. I couldn’t believe what she had said so I got my journal that has the notes to the bCBT book and shared with her what a structured session looks like. It had listed “agenda” and then went on to list other things. I asked the author of the book what is meant by this and he gave me a more descriptive outline of what the session looks like. I think there should have been an “:” to indicate this. So I went to my blog for the crisis response plan (Suicide Crisis Response Plan – midnightdemons7). This needs to be reviewed. In it, it said that if I get specific I should contact my therapist or psychiatrist. I should ask them if this is right or if I should just go to the psych ED. My therapist might not be available but I will bring it up with her when I meet with her next as that is when we will start with the new sessions I guess. She agreed to allow a new skill to be introduced and to practice it while in session. I think this is going to work out now as this seems more collaborative than what it was in the past where I spent the time just talking or not talking during session. I asked her if she was more DBT oriented or CBT. She said she was CBT so that will help a lot during the next few weeks. I am glad this is happening because I really felt like we were going on different directions. It just seemed like we would talk about stuff and then she would ask what is helpful but never follow up on what was helpful during the week or if I had practiced or done what was helpful. Mostly that meant me reading this manual for discussion. I felt like I was alone in reading it but it not going anywhere. I also felt like it was pointless to read if I couldn’t share what I was reading.
I have a busy week. Tomorrow I see my pcp and that is going to take a lot of energy. I wanted to get my hair trimmed but my barber had a death in the family. I contacted him today and he said his sister died. Her breast cancer had come back and it wasn’t a good prognosis. I am surprised she last this long. It was more than a year since she was diagnosed with this. I set up an appointment with him for Sat. Fri I plan on making his favorite dish, chili cornbread. I just have to get the ingredients. I will Thurs after my session with my psychiatrist. I will also ask him if I can contact him in an emergency as we have never discuss this before. There wasn’t really a need to as I really haven’t been in crisis since he became my psychopharmacologist.
By Sunday, I am just going to rest as I will need it. I don’t know when I will be able to read. I got hit with a flare up and couldn’t finish this blog yesterday. The flare was so bad that the bones in my foot and leg were aching very deeply and intensely. The pain in my leg is higher than it was and I fear that the CRPS is spreading. I want to contact my neuro and see if I can get a bone scan to see if it is CRPS or something else. I don’t think an X-ray will show anything as It only hurts when my ankle or foot is flared up and when I am resting on my bed. It doesn’t hurt when I put weight on it or walk on it. It is a very unusual type of pain when it comes on. I am feeling better because I got some sleep. I woke up around 0030 and had something to eat as I was hungry. I had honey nut cheerios. I emptied my bladder because it had been more than five hours since I last emptied it. I probably will have to go again as I drank the milk in the cereal and had some water afterwards. It’s 0130 now and I am not so tired. I might read the book for a bit until I am tired and can get back to sleep. My pain has finally settled down.
Sunday Blog 22082021
Post op day 4 hysterectomy
I got some good sleep finally. I feel really good. I am not in as much pain as I was in yesterday. I made sure to empty my bladder throughout the night and that helped. I am cathing every four hours to make sure I am empty completely. It hurts to void so that is why I am cathing. My genital area is sore but that is to be expected and the vaginal entrance is a little swollen. I noticed some clear discharge that is not mentioned at all with the post op stuff so I hope it is nothing to be worried about. I sent my surgeon a message anyway to ask if it is a concern or not.
Only thing I am planning on doing today is reading my MLB book. I started reading it last night as I couldn’t sleep. I read for about an hour and it helped to relax. I wanted to finish the chapter but it was too long. It was covering the two decades of 1900 and 1910. A lot of interesting baseball stuff happened during those years. I am having my doubts about being able to write a book about the history of team names. There is a lot of cross over between the leagues and some cities stays and it just gets confusing because things changed year to year, season to season.
I also plan on watching DS9. I can only watch so much TV before I get bored so if I watch two episodes, I will call that a win. Because of Tropical Storm Henri, baseball has been canceled for today in the New England area. We already had a tremendous thunderstorm and heavy rain. It is supposed to continue until tomorrow. I just hope nothing floods.
I am trying to fight off a nap right now. I am so tired from just having a cup of coffee and some breakfast. I know I am tired from post op. That is a given. It just comes on so suddenly that it is overwhelming sometimes. I am not having a lot of pain today. I made sure I took my pain meds during the night as I had my med alarm set to go off. I still only slept every three hours or so because I had to empty my bladder. My bladder seems to have its own schedule. I am glad I cath. It makes me feel like a man because I am standing while peeing.
I have been in the mood to write something profound but words are escaping me. I want to write a letter to my therapist about my trauma, just talking about one aspect of it and see where it leads me. I have so much emotion pent up in me right now that I think writing about it might help. I might post it on my blog if it isn’t too graphic in detail. I think writing about my cousin’s molestations might be helpful for me. I have been having intrusive memories about it the past few days. The one thing about anesthesia that I had is it brings things to the surface that you are trying to keep undercover. But with trauma there is always something under the surface. Anything that has to do with my genitals is a trigger for my sexual abuse to be in the forefront of my mind, even if I am not conscious of it.
New PCP and of course, pain
I had two appointments today, one for PT and then another with a new PCP. PT went okay. By the time I reached the train station after, I had to take off the support for my ankle I was wearing. It was causing too much heel pain. When I got to the hospital for the pcp (primary care provider) appointment, I took some pain meds and ibuprofen. My heel felt like it was being split in half. I have no idea how I endured this much pain without passing out. I used the walker as I navigated the hospital. I only went in the hospital rather than the streets because it snowed last night and I wasn’t sure how the sidewalks would be. I also didn’t want the wheels to get salt on them.
I was seen rather quickly. I was met with a social worker and the doctor. They introduced themselves and told me more about the transgender program as well as the services they provided. They offered counseling and I asked if I could meet with someone as I was having difficulty with my current one. I did mention that I was having mobility issues so it was okay if I didn’t see them right away. I also asked her if there was a way to deal with financial issues as I really would like to start saving some money a month but currently I can’t because I am an impulsive spender due to my mental illness. She said we could meet to work it out. She said she would set up the time and then send me a message when she did as she didn’t have her calendar in front of her.
She left and then the doctor examined me while talking some more about things. He agreed to take over my pain management. I was so happy. He asked about top surgery and we talked about it for a bit. He said I would need a note from my psychiatrist before I could have it. Then it would be some working with my insurance to pay for it. I am excited about this but as I was emailing my psych to tell her about him, I kind of realized I don’t know if I am as ready as I think I am. I mean, things have been moving so fast since Oct. I am not sure I want to have surgery after being on testosterone for only four months! I haven’t really thought what it will be like after my chest is gone. Don’t get me wrong, I want these guys gone, but I am sort of attached to them! It is weird. I have to think about it some more. I do kind of wish I had my therapist to talk to just to bounce ideas off him. But I don’t right now. I don’t have anyone to really talk to about it that isn’t coercive about it. The social work did mention a group that is at the hospital that is just transmen to talk and support one another. I am going to look into it. It would be nice to meet others going through this that are around my age. We joked about it as I often get the younger look and I am not that young! She said she was a few months older than I was. I found that funny because she didn’t look her age either!
I haven’t heard back from my psychiatrist but I see her next week. I feel like she is my only support right now as I am not seeing my therapist due to mobility issues. This is the first time I have been without a therapist because I couldn’t walk to their office. Makes me miss my former therapist all the more because we had phone sessions. I have no idea what kind of therapist the social worker has in mind that I see or where. The hospital is a huge place with office space all over the area. I can talk to my psychiatrist, she is easy going about it. I just don’t know if I am ready for the conversation with her. We have never discussed this subject before though when I asked her to change my sex on my license, she was more than willing to do so. She is okay with me being a different sex for than when she first met me 26 years ago. I really wonder if they ask kids how they feel about themselves if they have problems. I know that if I was asked when I was 19 or so if I felt comfortable being a female or not, I know I would have answered yes. I remember having to go through a pap smear even though I wasn’t sexually active and then being placed on birth control pills because I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I asked my psychiatrist treating me in the hospital if it would change me into a woman, basically, but I couldn’t bring myself to say that because I didn’t want to sound crazy. When she read my memoir a couple years ago, she said it made sense now rather than then and I saw her for three years. I don’t know if I would gone through transition then as my mother was not cool with my sexuality. But she isn’t happy now with me being me either. I just don’t know about what will happen when my boobs are gone. I have thought about it in passing but now that the surgery is like yeah when do you want to talk to the surgeon, I am taken aback. I guess part of me is still waiting for someone to say to me you are a female not a male get with the program or something. But I can’t help but feel masculine. I don’t like being female. I am not female. I am a male. I just don’t know about things right now. I think I want to wait till I feel comfortable talking to my psych before I talk to a surgeon.
I have my friend’s husband reading my Darkness Always Wins book. He is giving me some insights into it. He is honest about it but I can tell it is hard. I just bluntly write shit. I guess that is why my story hasn’t been written. It also doesn’t help that the T is redoing the bridge on the main street that takes me to the Square. I am so upset that I won’t be going to Starbucks as frequently as I was. Since my therapist and I have halted sessions, I haven’t been to the square as much. I am so depressed about this. I don’t know what I am going to do about it. I might have to seriously have money put aside for Uber (and stick with it!) just to go to another Starbucks that is hard to get to due to a long walk. On days I am okay, it might be okay to walk that far but on a regular basis, no way. And I would seriously have to commit to writing on my story and not play on my phone while there. I want my brain emptied! So to speak…
TG Transition Day 1
I wanted to write this yesterday so today is really day 2 but I want to tell you about all that happened yesterday. I will try to stick with just the transition and then go to another blog for today’s stuff.
I had the appointment with the nurse. I was like a half hour early. I waited a few minutes and she introduced herself. She must have been new because she didn’t know my former PCP, though she had seen him come in a few times. She showed me how to do the injections, which muscle to put it in, to switch off, etc. It was informative and she answered the questions. She said she would watch me give it but I didn’t feel comfortable as I was told not to bring the stuff with me. Soon as we were done, I went into a bathroom that was on that floor.
I got everything ready, careful not to touch anything that would contaminate the vial or needle. Then I stuck the needle in the vial, pushed the amount of air that the nurse said I had to push and only about 0.1 mL of fluid came into the syringe. I kept withdrawing but it was a slow drip into the syringe. Shit this stuff wasn’t going to be easy. I finally decided to just pull more than I needed and then push it back in. That worked and I got the amount I needed. I used an alcohol swab to wipe my leg, counted to three, and stuck it in. I pushed and things went smoothly. A little blood came out and some fluid but the nurse said it was normal. I put the stuff away, pulled up my pants, and washed my hands as I had to pee, too.
I had to inject saline into my left thigh to show her I could inject. By the time I got to Starbucks near my therapist’s office, my leg was sore. The right was doing better. I had posted on most of my social media a picture to show what Day 1 is. I didn’t shave the little hairs on my chin before leaving the house. I was lucky to leave when I did as it took me forever to make sure I had everything and still time to get coffee, which was so needed.
I got to the place and ordered a lemonade. I didn’t want too much caffeine as I was already a pile of nerves. I was freaking out over my leg hurting with just saline. I still had a few hours to kill and then I realized I didn’t bring any pain meds with me. I had switched bags and left them in my other bag. I had to go home. So I did and got what I needed and then went to therapy. I will write more about this in another blog.
I haven’t had any changes and my left thigh is still hurting but not so much. My right is fine. In a week, I will post another blog with a similar title and take pics to post. Thank you all for coming along.