Day in a life of a trans guy -Transition update

I haven’t written a blog post on solely on my transition since August from the looks of things, I think because I’ve felt like things aren’t moving along as quickly as I want it too but also in the winter my motivation ebbs and flows, so I find it difficult to write on a regular basis.

On Feb 22nd 2019 will mark 18 months on testosterone, which seems so long ago but its not really that long ago. I still feel like there’s not been much change in my voice, but I hear my voice all the time so its hard to tell, I may do a voice comparison video soon. The facial hair is growing well though, I’ve not shaved in nearly 2 months as I wanted to see what it looked like and my moustache and chin hair as very nearly joined up together! haha. I think I’ve said this before but I don’t think I’ve ever examined my face so closely since starting testosterone, always admiring my facial hair and looking at the spots on my face.

I’m still waiting for a second consultation for top surgery, I did write them a letter a while back in which I have had no response too, so I may chase that up soon, with either a letter or phone call.

As in the previous post I mentioned about the physio writing a letter in support of top surgery. I’ve also got a letter coming from Pause cat cafe where I am currently volunteering, as at my last appointment I was asked to find a new voluntary job so I can prove I am interacting in real life as male. Hopefully this will help support and push along my quest for top surgery.

My testosterone injections are still 3 weekly and my bloods are all looking fine, which is good. I’m due some more blood work soon.

I have an endocrinology appointment up at Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic in Feb, 2 days before my birthday. This will be just a general check up with how I am doing on testosterone and how is it interacting with all my other meds if at all. Which for me I don’t think there are any interactions with all the other medication I am on.

^ facial hair! Woooo

^ just my face (had to upload these via the app on my phone for some reason)

I have been struggling a lot with what I think is disassociation probably down to gender dysphoria, but I’ll talk more about that in the next post

That’s all on this for now,

Peace out,

Zak

Living with a chronic illness – Hospital appointments

I’ve not written about my physical health for a while, but in the last week I’ve had 3 hospital appointments which was crazy! They’re like buses all come at the same time!

The first hospital appointment was Wednesday 16th Jan was my first physiotherapy appointment and it went really well. He gave me some exercises to do, which I’ve been doing most days. I know I need to do them everyday, but I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment, so most days is better then non. He basically said that physio and insoles in my shoes will be something I need for the rest of my life because I am on the higher end of the scale for hyper-mobility, of which he said I score 9/9 which wasn’t really news to be. But I came away feeling happier, it seems like I will have continual care regarding physio, which isn’t something I’ve had before and its something I feel I will need for a while in order for me to make sure I’m doing my exercises and that its continuing to help with the chronic pain. He said where my muscles and ligaments are fairly weak from the hyper-mobility, these regular exercises will help strengthen them in hopes that is will help the main areas of my chronic pain, which is lower back, hips, knees and ankles. Overall a good appointment, my next one is in March so I have sometime to do my best with these exercises.

This Wednesday 23rd I has 2 hospital appointments in the same day, which made for an incredibly long, exhausting day.

My first appointment was at Christchurch hospital at 11 am and that was for Rheumatology, as soon as I got there I saw the nurse and she came over and said hello to me, I asked her if she needed a pee sample as I was bursting to go! and she said yeah sure that would be helpful and got me a sample point so I could go. I waited for about 10 mins for my appointment, as I was a bit early. Man its so bloody hot in hospitals! I was all wrapped up in a million jumpers as it was cold outside and had to take them all off when I sat down, for fear of boiling to death! When she had finished up with her previous patient she called me in. She’s quite a young nurse, I think she’s around my age (I’m 33) or a bit younger, she’s so easy to talk to and we talked about everything from my physical health to my transition. Which is great to have a nurse ask questions and actually be interested in me as a whole person. She’s going to ask me physio to write me a letter for the gender clinic re top surgery, as its something I forgot to ask him when I saw him. I said that the physio had said my posture needs correcting and I explained to her, my posture is bad because I often roll my shoulders in and hunch my back to hide my chest as I don’t bind very often and I explained that having top surgery would correct my posture because I wouldn’t have to be always hiding my chest. I asked if he could write a letter in support of top surgery as it may help push things along, she was very understanding and said it makes total sense. The plan is to have a dexa scan (bone density scan) to check my bones, as my last dexa was in 2016, so I’m due a scan. She also agreed its time to see how well I do coming off steroids, as I’ve been on them half my life and its time to see if I can remain well off them. The plan is to go from 5mgs to 4mgs for 4 weeks, longer if I don’t feel great. She said to go which how I’m feeling and then after that go down to 3mgs for 4 weeks and by then I’ll be seen by her again to catch up with how everything is going. I start on the lowered dose tomorrow, I’m a bit nervous, as I know its not going to make me feel so great to start with but I’ll stick with it. Overall another great appointment.

I got the bus into town and I had some time to kill and I was hungry, I decided to treat myself and I went to a ice cream parlour, where I had a Oreo waffle, covered in chocolate sauce, crumbled Oreos and toffee ice cream. I couldn’t eat it all but it was sooo nice and very much needed, seeing as I’d been up since 6:45am!

I got the next bus to Poole hospital and this was an ENT – ears, nose and throat appointment. My appointment was at 2:30pm and I got there 10 mins early and again MAN it was so freaking hot in there! They ran 50 mins late, I was so exhausted and getting a bit agitated because I was hot and wanted to go home. But it was worth the wait and thank god for our NHS we are so lucky to have it. This was a new ENT doc to me, she was super nice and easy to talk too and had clearly read my notes which was great. There were a couple of students in there, observing appointments, I love having students in my appointments because these young people will be looking after me when I’m older and if they are interested in specialising in rare medical conditions then I am definitely all for it! I’ve had meetings with rooms full of doctors, I’m always participating in studies where the hospital shares my tests results ets, I’ve spoken to many student doctors and nurses over the years and I think its really important for them to be observing and learning different aspect of patients that in the future will be their patients. I digress, but its an important point. We had a brief chat about my medical history and asked how I’m currently doing, as to which I said I’m doing well although I’ve had quite a blocked nose recently but I think that’s to do with the cold weather and going from hot to cold environments. She saw me at her voice clinic, so she could have a look up my nose and down to my vocal chords. It was pretty cool to see it on the screen, as she recorded it so I could have a look. She was surprised that I don’t have a hole in my septum, as that is often a symptom of my condition, which as a reminder is called Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis/Churg Strauss syndrome, so that’s good news! She was also surprised that I have no irreparable damage up my nose, vocal chords or wind pipe, despite the fact I’ve had my wind pipe chemically widened a few times in my late teens early 20’s. She said everything looks great and it shows that my condition has been well controlled over the years. She agreed to see me again in 6 months to touch base but if I need anything in between then I can call and see her sooner if I need too. Again despite the long wait, it was worth it.

I”m really happy with how things are going for me health wise at the moment, I have a great team of doctors looking after me and I feel listened too which for me is so important and I also feel involved in my care, which is something I’ve not had before, mainly because I was 14/15 at the time I of my diagnosis.

The long day didn’t hit me until Friday afternoon. Friday morning my mum came round at 9:30 am, she helped me sort out the curtains in the bedroom as I had just thrown them up years ago, they’re too long and I’d not pulled the string through so they were really baggy at the top. She showed me how to do all that which was cool as they look better now. We went to a cafe, for a drink and a scone which was nice. She dropped me back and I went for my testosterone shot at 12pm. After I walked home, I got the dogs ready to go out (didn’t leave straight away) and as it was nice sunny and fairly warm, we got the bus to Hamworthy park. It was such a nice walk, at one point I was sat on the bench watching scrappy running in and out of the sea and foxy just wandering about with the warm sun hitting my face, just perfect. We got back about 3:40, scrappy had to have a shower as he was covered in sand. I fully reclined both sides of my sofa, covered it with blankets, did up the hot water bottles and ordered some lunch/dinner. After I’d eaten a wave of tiredness came over me, I snuggled up on the sofa with the dogs and the cats and I think I fell asleep for about 2 hours. It was so needed, I’d felt exhausted all day but it didn’t really hit me till I stopped and that exhaustion lasted till Saturday.

Its funny I don’t always feel the effects of a long day like that, till a couple of days later. But I’m feeling better today, although that may change this week when I start lowering the steroids!

That’s it for now,

Peace out

Zak

Still trying – Self care

At the weekend I was feeling really agitated, indecisive and I just didn’t know what to do with myself.

I think I was stressing about not doing enough…by that I’m not sure what. But I think I felt like I HAD to be doing something productive. But really all that pressure I was putting on myself was just stressing me out and making me feel worse then I already did.

So after much stressing and panicking that I wasn’t doing ‘enough’ (whatever enough means) I decided to go to the shop to get some food, to make sure I was eating, I got some fruit but mainly packet stuff that’s quick and easy to eat without much hassle. I then decided to find something to watch on Netflix and that relaxing with my animals for the rest of the day and making sure I ate was more then enough.

That simple change in my perspective changed everything and has actually made this week so much easier. The agitation and stress disappeared and I felt much more relaxed and to my surprise I was able to make decisions without feeling so stressed and felt a bit more motivated.

On the Sunday I took Scrappy to the beach, the weather was really nice so we spent most of the afternoon there, we walked, sat and had snacks, talked with other dog walkers. It was such a nice day and very much needed.

This week has been fairly busy, I’ve done two shifts at the cat cafe, I’ve meet up with two friends and I’ve had a physio appointment.

Today I have done the housework and laundry, I’ve taken the dogs out and then I have rested and listened to podcasts. I’m so exhausted from everything I’ve done this week, I decided it was best to just rest my body and my mind.

I’ve also spent some time sorting through my appointments for the next few months of which I seem to have more then I usually do lol! But I at least know where I’ve got to be and when.

I’ve not had the idiot box on today, only to play music on YouTube while I was doing the housework. It’s been quite nice just to listen to different podcasts, instead of starting at the TV.

That small change in how I feel about relaxing and doing nothing, has really helped me this week. I know I deserve to relax and I should be relaxing, I shouldn’t be pushing my body and I am worthy of self care.

Feeling worthy is so important and something I really struggle with. I often feeling like I am not worthy of anything! I’m working on it and it comes and goes but I’m still trying.

Self care is super important and because I’ve been depressed, I haven’t been looking after myself as well as I deserve. I’m starting again, which is fine, no matter how many times, I stop, start, fall down, I will always get back up and keep trying.

Peace out

Zak

Being brave – asking for help

So a couple of days ago I deleted everyone off FB and at first it was out of anger and frustration and also a bit scary but it’s actually been really liberating as well, I don’t feel like there’s things that are expected of me, as there’s no one to see anything anyway.

Feels good, if people really want to remain friends then they know where I am.

Yesterday I was really down and feeling like I no longer wanted to exist, not suicidal just didn’t want to be here anymore. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for a few months.

I feeling lonely and frustrated, so I decided to go to the retreat at Hahnemann House, it’s a safe place to go if you feel like you’re heading in crisis or are in crisis.

I had the best time, I chatted, did mindfulness, played go fish. It was so nice to be around other people and the best part was for the first time in a long time I actually felt heard! Which for me is so important, as I often feel ignored, left out, not heard etc. It really made all the difference, if I hadn’t gone I could have ended up harming myself.

I’m on my way back tonight 🙂 I’m looking forward to it. Just to not feel so alone and to be safe.

I rarely ask for help, the last few years I’ve been much less open because I don’t feel heard so I gave up bothering.

I didn’t want to go to my GP or back to the psychiatrist because drugs will only mask the root cause which is social isolation, it won’t make things better. I’d rather work on myself to feel better then up my meds and just feel like a zombie.

Anyway that’s all,

Peace out

Zak

Mobile phones have killed the conversation

Am I the only one who when I am with people will put my phone in my pocket and leave it there, checking it very occasionally.

I had two friends down to stay with me and I felt so fucking awkward, lonely and left out.

They both spent 99% of the time on their phones, they were chatting with other people, playing stupid fucking games and just sitting there in silence… like wtf?! One of my friends even sent me a couple of stupid memes… like wtf I’m in the same fucking room as me! Show me! Don’t fucking text it!

I felt so fucking awkward, I’m not feeling my best as it is and I just didn’t have the energy to keep starting conversations… cuz they just died off anyway, I felt like I was interrupting and I was just in the way in my own fucking house!

We went out yesterday and on the way back not one of them said a word to me! They were just sat there on their phones talking to each other!

So today I didn’t even try, I just wanted them to go, I was so fucking done!

Yes they had bought me dinner but I don’t want or need things bought for me, I got my own fucking money. All I wanted was some quality time with friends… not too much to ask for? Right? But clearly it was.

I’m so fucking angry and upset! I deleted every single person off my FB! I’m fucking done with people! They wanna be friends fucking prove it!

I’m sick to death of trying to keep friendships going, I’m done! I don’t fucking care anymore! People are so selfish and self involved.

Yes we all got issues but fuck! Sitting on your phone whilst in the company of others is so fucking rude!

I’m so lonely, but I’d rather be on my own then be with people who make me feel alone.

One of them clearly didn’t like what I had to say about how they made me feel so I got blocked on social media’s! Fucking pathetic! Truth hurts!

I’m so tired of crying all the time, I’m just tired… I’m trying so hard to keep going and keeping my shit together but it’s exhausting. I’m tired of pretending to be ok, I have to be ok… no one else is here to help.

Peace out

Zak