Meds, weight gain and gender dysphoria

So in the post named A bit of everything, I touched on the subject of weight gain because of the Gabapentin and I thought I would write a bit more in depth post about it.

Last year I came down off the Quetiapine to a much lower dose, this was partly because of the 3 stone that I had put on but I also didn’t feel like I needed it any more. It took about 9 months but all the weight I had gained and more fell off without much effort of my part, which was even better. My mental health didn’t suffer as a result either which was good, well I had one manic episode but that was down to lack of sleep, so I had to go back up to 50 mgs and didn’t gain any weight.

Over the 9 months I got really addicted to the weight loss and I got addicted to feel empty and when I was 8 stone 13 lbs I was SO HAPPY and felt amazing. I then got to the point where I was only eating a small amounts of food so that I didn’t pass out and eating/cooking/food shopping caused extreme stress. This feeling wasn’t so great and it became a problem which interfered with my daily life and I wasn’t able to go out much because I was worried about passing out and if I didn’t go out then I didn’t have to worry about how much I ate.

I’ve always had issues with food and my weight which has always mainly been down to the medication I take/took for my physical health issues. I started on Prednisolone Steroids when I was 15 years old, that caused weight gain and the classic moon face.After a few years those side effects went and my weight was back under control again.

Then came the Bipolar and Quetiapine…This caused more then just weight gain, it also caused irritable bowl syndrome and it just made my whole body so sluggish and drugged up. I think the highest dose I was on at one point was 800 mgs and its was horrible, all I could do was sleep and I just felt so slow and zombified all the time. It wasn’t a nice feeling at all, it felt like the world was in slow motion. I am now on 50 mgs a night just to help me sleep, I don’t have the horrible sluggish feeling that I had on a much higher dose.

In between all of this any time I was overly stressed my appetite was the first thing to go and I would struggle to eat anything at all. It’s still the same now and it’s really frustrating because it causes me even more stress.

I think that’s about all of the history of my weight issues, there’s probably more but I don’t remember right now.

A few months ago I went to my GP and we talked about me coming off my Tramadol and changing over to Gabapentin. I’ve been on Tramadol for much longer then I can even remember and it was no longer effective and because of all the operations I want in the future for my medical transition, I didn’t want to go onto another opiate based drug because I will need the opiate based drugs during the recovery period. Now usually after the operations most people are given Paracetamol and or co-codamol but because I have been on both of those before for long periods neither of them are effective at all. So for me after the operations I will probably be on opiate based medications.

So I opted for Gabapentin, which is used to treat many things like epilepsy, restless leg syndrome and neuropathic pain. Within the first fortnight I put on half a stone, I just binged on so much sugary crap and loads and loads of carbs! Its all I wanted and I had no desire to really cook anything other then what I was eating.

I weighed myself today and I am up to 9 stone 13lbs! This does NOT make me feel good. Not just because of the obvious reason that come with gaining weight but because of how it effects my gender dysphoria. The weight has gone straight to my chest, stomach and thighs, all of the feminine parts of my body. It is all made worse by the fact that I can’t bind because of my physical health issues and when I go out I am always misgendered. So yeah I don’t feel all that great right now, I hate my body it sucks and the weight gain has just exaggerated that.

I hate my body so much right now and I’ve even had thoughts of slicing at my chest area in hopes the medical professionals would have to do something…and it just makes me feel so low and it makes me want to hide away from the world. I hate the fact that the world sees me as female and not how I am inside, its soul destroying.

I am trying to start eating better again, I’ve found out the miracle of frozen chopped onion, garlic and other things. I knew these things existed but I’ve not wanted to use them, as I was wanting to just carry on as I was. Anyway I wrote more about this in another post. I just need to curb the sugar cravings and move a little more each day, its difficult but I am going to try my best.

Anyway I’ve been trying to write this for a few hours now and my concentration has completely gone. So I’ll wrap this up and get myself and the pups to bed.

Peace out

Batman

How Pokemon Go has helped me

So Pokemon Go was released here in the UK yesterday and I am already hooked.

Even though my generation grew up with video games, I kinda missed out on it all. We had a console when I was about 6 and my favourite game was Duck Hunt, loved shooting the ducks and then when I was about 10+ I had a GameBoy and my favourite game was Tetris. I also had a Tamagotchi and a NanoBaby which I loved! But that’s where my gaming experience ended.

I didn’t even spend much time on the computer, it was a family computer and I only ever really went on it so I could do school projects and that was it really.

I was always one of those kids that was never in fashion or up to date with the latest craze, I think that was partly to do with the fact I was often suppressed and wasn’t allowed to express my true self. I was expected to be a certain way, I was expected to be girly and like girly things but I detested anything remotely female. I was a very introverted child, very shy, extremely self conscious but I now know it was because I wasn’t allowed to be the boy that I was inside.

I don’t often write like this about my childhood because while I had a good childhood, I didn’t get the emotional support I needed throughout my younger years. Even though it wasn’t physical abuse or whatever, that lack of emotional support still effects me today in many different ways. But emotional abuse is just as bad a physical abuse, bruises fade and broken bones heal but the scars on your mind are harder to heal. I’ve worked hard to heal those wounds but some are still raw.

So how does all this relate to Pokemon Go? Well my gender dysphoria has been really bad, mainly because I can’t bind and when I’m out I get misgendered and every time it happens its like a stab in the chest and as you can imagine it really doesn’t make me feel good about myself and it makes me feel like I just want to hide away and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve been staying in quite a lot because I feel safe at home, I got no one judging me, or thinking I am a girl, I’m not anxious or nervous. I feel happy and relaxed, I can be myself without worrying about anything.

Becoming a recluse is definitely not the answer to anything, I’ve found that my legs have been a lot more achy since I’ve not been out as much as I usually am. I find if I take the dogs for a walk at least twice a week then my pain is much more manageable then if I only took them out for 1omins a day.

My legs have been so achy the last few day and then yesterday this Pokemon Go came out and it was like I had a motivation boost or something because I was so excited to try it out and go catch Pokemon. After dinner I took scrappy out for a walk down to the Quay and back again. I was out for a little over an hour, which is longer then I’ve been out for in a while. It was so much fun and I didn’t have an ounce of anxiety about anything, I was totally absorbed into the game and finding as many as I could. It just sucked me into a whole other reality.

Usually in the afternoon I just watch crappy day time TV shows but I wanted to go catch Pokemon rather then staying in and watching TV. So I fed foxy, gave her some water and took her for a wee and then made sure she was all comfortable and safe, as she’s not allowed out for a long walk just yet. Scrappy and I headed out and we did our usual route around Baiter Park and I caught loads of Pokemon!

I had just won 1 round at a battle and then lost when a lovely lady and her dog Foxy walked by the bench I was sat resting on. We started talking and instead of her thinking I was being rude because I was on my phone, I showed how what it was and as we were walking along up popped a few different Pokemon and I showed her how to catch them and explained how it all worked. It was nice to talk to someone who was genuinely interested in what I was doing and it was just nice to talk to someone, even if she was a stranger.

It has definitely given my mood a boost, I feel a bit happier today. I feel like I have even more reason to go out each day, it feels like I’ve actually accomplished something, as silly as it sounds.

So as much as people have been going on about how dangerous this game is and how children have been lured by adults and how people have been hurt because the aren’t looking where they are going. For people like me this game has already had such a positive impact on my mental health and I can’t wait to walk Scrappy tomorrow so I can go catch more Pokemon.

Keep gaming, keep doing what makes you happy and remember always be yourself no matter what ❤

Peace out

Batman

A little bit of everything

Just a little over a week since I last posted and I feel like I need to write tonight, it maybe a quick one though as I’m quite tired and achy today.

More news on the benefits front, I got a letter on Friday for an appointment for a face to face assessment, it didn’t specify what benefit it was for but I am assuming its for ESA, I’ve yet to ring up and confirm. I keep putting it off as I hate making phone calls but I will try my best to do it in the morning. The assessment is next Thursday, which means I miss yet another group session, I didn’t manage to make it to one Mindout group last month and it sucked so much because I really needed the support. I also need to find a lift there and back to the assessment as I don’t know exactly how to get there by myself, so that’s another hurdle. If I still had my PIP then I could get a taxi there and back no worries! But yeah… it is what it is. I just hope it goes better then the PIP assessment did.

I’m now down to 4 Tramadol’s a day, which is half of what I was on. I am so chuffed I’ve been able to do this at my own pace without too many issues. The insomnia and the jaw clenching has stopped now, which is such a relief. The Gabapentin is helping, although the last few days I’ve been really achy but I think that’s because the weather has been a bit damp.

I’ve put on about a stone in weight because of the Gabapentin, it made me crave sugar and carbs and then I couldn’t stop binge eating sugary things. It was nice for a while to be able to eat without stressing about it like I was before hand but the weight gain is NOT good for the gender dysphoria as the weight has gone straight to my stomach and moobs (manboobs) The cravings have curbed a bit and I am really trying to be more mindful of what I put into my body, its really hard but this weight needs to come off! I’ve also not been as active as I would like but I’m struggling energy wise at the moment, just doing the housework is enough to exhaust me, its so freaking frustrating. I’m trying to pace myself and do what I can when I can and I’m trying hard not to berate myself and give myself a hard time about it but its so flipping hard, especially when my inner critic just won’t shut the fuck up! This is where I try and change the automatic thoughts and flip them around, it does mean I have to stop and think about what I am doing/thinking and then change accordingly, which in itself is hard work but I have noticed I’ve not been as hard on myself as I usually am.

Tonight I made a proper decent meal for the first time in a while and I made cottage pie and I used chopped frozen onion and garlic, which I’ve never used before but it was recommended to me by a friend. I literally have NO idea why I’ve not tried this before! it made cooking so much easier and it was much less energy zapping as there was less cutting and chopping to do. I will definitely look into other foods that are frozen that I often use to cook with. Its less fuss, less mess and no wastage and works out cheaper too. I’m starting to try and make my life easier rather then carry on as I’ve always done. Doesn’t mean I’m failing it just means I need to do things differently and that’s a really hard thing to accept but essential for me to be able to have a decent quality of life.

My lil Foxy got spayed yesterday and I was so nervous for her but she’s been absolutely fine. She’s been sleeping a lot today but I think she’s needed it. I’m glad I’ve finally got her done, its one thing I don’t have to worry about anymore. She’s got a check up tomorrow afternoon, so I’m hoping that they will say she’s healing perfectly.

Having her spayed had really helped me in a odd way, recently I’ve been feeling really angry, easily irritable and frustrated and having Fox to look after and care for has made me feel much calmer which in turn has made me feel a bit happier then I have been. I don’t like feeling so angry all the time, so its nice to have a break from the negative emotions.

Ooh I nearly forgot to mention gay pride! It was the weekend just gone and I just went on the Saturday with L and Harvey. It was a really great day, we had so much fun. We watched the parade go by and then we went down to the gardens and had had a look around all the stools, then for the rest of the afternoon we stayed at the Mindout stand and I helped out talking to lots of people about our groups. It was great and I can’t wait for next year 🙂

That’s all from me, for now as I want to game for a bit tonight.

Peace out

Batman

Catching up again – Staying afloat

Once again its been about a month since I’ve written anything, it feels much longer though. I am going to try and write more regularly this month and hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of it again. I really enjoy writing and I’ve missed it but I haven’t had much to blog about really as nothing much has changed, I’m kinda just stuck right now, nothing has really changed, nothing has moved forward, I’m just still waiting and its all out of my hands, there’s nothing I can do. Its frustrating but it is what it is I suppose.

I’ll get the B word out of the way… Benefits, PIP. I am still waiting for a court date and it should be around September when I get an appointment through. So that’s that… this has been going on since, September 2015! I am absolutely disgusted by this entire process and to know I am not the only one going through this makes it worse, because I know I am strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at me, but there are those that aren’t as strong and have killed themselves as a result of being deemed fit to work. My heart hurts for those people… I’ll end it there or I will just keep writing.

So gender clinic and gender stuff – I wrote Charing Cross a letter with my new NHS number and I asked if I was going to be seen soon. I’ve not heard anything back yet..that doesn’t overly surprise me. My referral was done last July and the then waiting list was 13months so I will hopefully get an appointment next month! Fingers, toes and tits crossed everyone!

I have totally given up on binding, I simply can’t do it. I’ve tried 2 different brands of binders and a high intensity sports bra, they all worked great but I can’t deal with how they feel, the tightness, the material, the fact they make me hot and they hurt. It’s all just too much and I can’t deal with it, it makes me feel weird just writing about it. It fucking sucks! It makes me feel like shit, just a daily reminder that I’m not even close to being who I feel on the inside. While I am out and on the phone, I get misgendered and it feels like being stabbed in the heart, it makes me not want to go out and do things, it makes so fucking self conscious. I already have anxiety about talking on the phone but this makes it even fucking worse. I feel safe at home and I’ve noticed this year I haven’t done half of the things I did by this time last year. Most of this is down to my physical health being awful but even on the days I feel well, I just don’t want to go out and face the world because the world doesn’t see me the way I feel inside and its hard. So I have been hiding away more then I usually do and if I do go out, its with people I feel safe with and to places I feel safe to go. I get more excited at the prospect of staying in and doing my own thing then going out and doing stuff… But it is a fine balance of staying at home feeling safe and completely isolating myself, which is difficult. I think staying in and feeling safe is the most important thing for my mental health at the moment, I need to keep myself safe.

Physical health stuff – I saw my Thoracic medicine doc last month and he’s happy with my breathing test results, as they have remained unchanged for a long time, so he’s discharged me. But I can be referred back if I need to be. I am happy with this, its one less appointment to go too. He looked at my CT scan of my sinuses and my left side is so inflamed and the inflammation is just less then a inch from behind my eye, which explains why I get a lot of headaches and why that side of my head always hurts so much. I see my ENT doc this month, so I will be able to discuss more with him about my awful sinus pain etc and hopefully we’ll be able to come up with something that will be able to help it. I don’t even know what the options would be to make this better, right now I’d say yes to whatever he suggests.

The Gabapentin is going well, I have put on 10lbs which really bothered me at first but I don’t care anymore. I have gone past the stage of feeling the need to eat all the time, so my appetite has returned to being somewhat normal again. I am sure the weight will fall back off again. Coming off the Tramadol is going well, I am now down to 5 tablets a day down from 8 a day. It’s been really hard, as it caused insomnia the start with and it made me clench my jaw so hard it gave me migraines. That’s all starting to get better now, the insomnia is a lot better. I’m not waking up several times a night and I am actually sleeping right through, I am loving being able to sleep all night again. The jaw thing is ok now most days but if I don’t take my Tramadol right on time, then I really start clenching my jaw and it hurts so bad but its out of my control, I try and stop doing it when I notice it happening but it doesn’t work. Overall I am pretty happy with how this med change has gone so far and I am hoping that the Gabapentin continues to work well on its own.

The practice manager at my doctors surgery is still on the case to get hold of my notes, from the mythical place they go to when you change your gender lol. I hope this is sorted soon.

My knee has been alright since the steroid injection and I think the Gabapentin has helped as well. My over all pain levels have been far more manageable on the Gabapentin, well as long as I’m not doing a lot.. As soon as I do “normal” daily life stuff and social stuff, I ache a lot and the fatigue kicks in.

So that’s me really, still feel like an anxious, emotional wreck. I don’t know how I keep going but I do, somehow. I just keep trying to find the little bits of positivity in every day and every situation I come across.

I’ll wrap this up now,

I’ll try post again soon.

Peace out

Batman