A day in the life of a Trans guy – Hysteroscopy

I wouldn’t usually put a trigger warning on my blog, but this blog in particular could be triggering as it mentions a procedure in a private area and those with gender dysphoria may find it hard to read. Having said that I am writing this to raise awareness of this particular procedure and its process and why it maybe done during transition from female to male.

This goes back to July, where I was sent a letter from the Gender clinic and my GP got the same letter to arrange a ultrasound scan of my uterus. Which is standard procedure once you are 2 years on testosterone. My GP organised the ultrasound scan for me, which was at my local hospital.

I’ve had ultrasound scans before so I knew what the expect. I had to drink loads of water before my appointment, I got called into my appointment and they put gel on my stomach and tried to scan me but as it was in the morning, I needed to drink more. So I went back into the waiting room and drank MORE water until I felt like I needed to pee and then they called me in and tried again, more cold gel on my belly and she pushed the scanner thing into my stomach, to take a look at my uterus. Which was really uncomfortable, especially when you really need to pee! She cleaned off my belly and there was a toilet in the room, so I went for a pee straight away! and man what a relief!

While I was waiting for the results, I tried to google why a trans guy on testosterone would need a ultrasound scan but I couldn’t find anything. Which is why I am writing this blog, to help educate others with my experience.

It didn’t take too long to get the results but the letter said that the lining of my uterus was too thick and it shouldn’t be. That really was all the information that was in the letter. They booked me an appointment with the gynaecologist and I went to that appointment on Friday.

Turns out I was extremely unprepared for this appointment and wasn’t fully aware of what they were going to do. That was partly my fault for not reading the information letter properly, but also I was probably just trying to block it out, not think about it as I have little connection to that part of my body. Although I was kinda good I wasn’t aware of what was going to happen at this appointment, as I didn’t have time to get anxious.

It was an early morning appointment, I only got up an hour before my appointment, so I washed my face and put some clothes on and ate a chocolate bar for breakfast lol and walked up to the hospital.

When I got there the Doc was already at reception and asked if I was there, even though I wasn’t late. As soon as they saw me they said ah this must be him and they made sure my details were up to date and the Doc took me into the room.

He had a male student nurse in the room with him, which I didn’t mind. My local hospital is a teaching hospital, so there’s always students knocking around. We briefly discussed my transition, how long I’ve been on testosterone for, how long I’ve been on the contraceptive pill for etc. He did say to me I could be fitted with the coil instead, which I fused as I’ve had friends who have had issues with bleeding and their mental health whilst having the coil and I don’t have any bleeding on the pill so I do not want to change that as periods are something I do not want! and cannot cope with.

He explained that all the hormones I’m on should have thinned the lining of my uterus, so they needed to do a hysteroscopy to take a sample of the lining to test and make sure everything is as it should be.

Now I cannot fault the Doctor or the nurses, they were amazing! They all gendered me correctly and just couldn’t have been nicer.

TRIGGER WARNING – Description of the procedure.

The Doc took me into another room, where two nurses were getting everything ready. I had to take off my shoes, jeans and boxers and loosely wrapped a sheet around me. The nurse helped me get up onto the bed and get comfy, had my legs up in those stirrups with the sheet covering my modesty while they set everything up.

The Doctor stared by inserting a speculum into me, which I’ve had done before for a smear test, so that wasn’t too bad. The Doctor talked me through what he was doing as he was doing it.

He then put a camera inside me, which I could see on the screen next to me, which was kinda cool. But it was extremely painful, he had a good look around my uterus and took pictures. He said it was painful due to the testosterone having made my uterus tight and constricted. They kept saying they could stop, but I didn’t want them too as I didn’t want to have to come back again. The camera process felt like forever! but they were all talking to me, asking me questions, trying to keep me relaxed.

I don’t quite know what he did to take a sample of the lining but it felt really pinchy and like really bad cramps. The whole thing was extremely painful and I’m pretty good with pain but this was almost unbearable.

The Doctor left the room so I could sort myself out, the nurses were clearing things away. One nurse gave me some paracetamol and a drink of water and the other nurse was talking to me about the Joker film and the new Harley Quinn film, which was cool.

I stayed sitting down for about 10 mins because my stomach hurt so much. I went behind the curtains to clean myself up and the nurse gave me this super thick sanitary pad to wear, as she said I would have some bleeding after. Wearing a pad and boxers don’t really go but wasn’t overly uncomfortable. She told me to take a few home with my just in case.

I went back into see the Doctor and said I wasn’t talking to him lol! and he laughed and apologised for it hurting so much. He didn’t really explain the negative possibilities of what the problem could be, he just said that it’s more then likely nothing and he’ll book me an appointment for 12 months. Which still leaves me in the dark as to what potentially the problem could be and as I’ve said there’s no information surrounding this particular situation relating the trans men.

I walked home, as I had light jeans on and I felt self conscious so I didn’t want to sit on the bus and potentially bleed through my jeans. Plus my stomach was hurting so much, I just wanted to get home.

When I got in I fully reclined the sofa, grabbed a pillow, put on my black joggy bottoms and pj top. Grabbed some snacks and a drink and curled up on the sofa with my blanket and Netflix.

I couldn’t move for a while without it hurting, I was curled in ball for hours. I fell asleep for a bit. Eventually the pain eased enough I could stretch out a bit, but I stayed relaxing on the sofa for most of the day.

Not only was I dealing with the physical effects of the procedure, but the mental side effects of having something done in a area of my body that almost feels like something completely separate, its hard to explain what I mean. But the whole experience wiped me out for the day.

Luckily I only bled for a few hours and by the evening it had stopped completely. But my stomach felt really tender all day and still feels a bit tender now a few days on.

I’m not sure how long it takes for the results to come through, but I will keep you all posted with the results.

I wish I had been a little more prepared before this procedure, as I would have done things a little differently.

Here are some tips for having this procedure, I would take a trusted friend, partner, member of family with you and have them in the room if you feel comfortable with that. Have someone drive you home and look after you for the rest of the day. Even though I couldn’t do much after, it would have been nice to have someone with me for that emotional support, even if it just was hanging out and relaxing. Make sure you have in snacks and easy to make foods, hotwater bottle, pain relief. Luckily I already had some snacks and pain relief in.

I hope this has been helpful to those who are going through the same stage in their transition.

If this has triggered you, please reach out of help, don’t suffer alone.

Please feel free to share this blog, to raise awareness within the trans community. I know these things aren’t an easy subject but its something we need to talk about, so we know we aren’t alone.

Peace out

Zak

Adventure Time – Brighton day trip

On Thursday I took a pretty huge step, I went to Brighton for the day by train on my own.

I’ve always had anxiety about getting the train places, as I have a fear of getting lost. Which is probably a weird fear but that’s where my anxiety around travelling alone comes from.

I’ve been to Brighton before, with a friend for Pride. This was probably about 11/12 years ago now. I don’t remember much of the journey or even pride itself. It sucks that I don’t really remember this experience but I don’t remember a lot of experiences in my life.

I got my first train just gone 9 am, it was running late but I was feeling pretty relaxed. I had to change trains, which went smoothly and I got on the right one. I did ask the train guard if it was the train to Brighton before getting on, just to ease my anxieties.

Got into Brighton at 12:21 and man it was freezing! I didn’t really have a plan of where I was going or what I was doing. So I just started walking and followed the sign posts.

I hit some shops and the first one that drew me in was a crystal shop! haha I mean of course it was! But there were loads of them! There was so many awesome shops, such bright colours, such a lovely energy. I kinda felt at home, my anxieties disappeared and I just was in awe of the place. I spent the day walking around with my mouth wide open! lol.

I went down to the Pier and walked along it, went in the arcade, had a walk along the beach. I went to Franco Manca for lunch, they do the best sourdough pizza’s. It was nice sitting and having lunch on my own in a new town.

I headed home at 5pm feeling extremely proud of myself, I felt incredible! Like I could conquer anything. Even now a few days later, I’m still feeling really good about myself.

I’ve spent my life waiting on other people, always believing I wasn’t strong enough to do things on my own, or that I needed other people to help me. But I bloody did it, I proved myself wrong and I proved everyone else wrong.

I am strong, I am capable, I can do things! I am good enough.

I had the best day and I definitely intend on going back there. Maybe when its a bit warmer lol. I’m also intending on going to Brighton for this years Trans Pride. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but just haven’t got round to going yet. But this year definitely feels like the year to go.

This is one of many adventures I plan on having this year!

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a Trans guy

Today was my testosterone shot day! which is always something I look forward too. I had spoken with my GP a few weeks ago about changing over from Sustanon to Nebido injections.

I started on Sustanon two years and 5 months ago, having 3 weekly injections. I did try doing to injections myself for a bit but I couldn’t get over the anxiety of doing it myself as it really bloody hurt!

I decided I wanted to change over to Nebido as they are 12 weekly injections, which means roughly 4 injections a year, rather then every 3 weeks.

Thankfully when I turned up to my appointment today, they had sorted the prescription for the Nebido and I was ready to go!

There is a loading stage you have to go through in order to change from one injection to the other. So this afternoon I had Sustanon and Nebido jabbed into my butt muscles! The Nebido injection hurt way more then Sustanon but I am definitely cool with a bit more pain if it means less injections.

I hope it doesn’t cause any drastic changes in my mood, that is my only concern but I’ve managed well on the 3 weekly injections so fingers crossed everything will go smoothly.

I’ll keep you all updated with the change over.

Peace out

Zak

Saturday Afternoon Walk

The sunshine has finally arrived! and Saturday afternoon it was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was a bit chilly but it was a perfect day for a dog walk.

I was feeling pretty indecisive and a bit agitated, I wanted to do something but wasn’t sure what.

I finally managed to make a decision and force myself to go out. I grabbed my bag and Scrappy and we went for a walk.

We were out for a few hours and I got some great pictures, Scrappy had himself a great time. He swam in the sea, ran through the mud, played with other dogs and kids, found a ball… like he always does lol! He looked like a swamp dog when we got home and had a shower.

I felt good for getting out, I always do. It’s just getting out that sometimes I really struggle with, but always love being out.

I love photography and only use my iPhone, here are some shots I took. I hope you like them.

Peace out

Zak

Rediscovering myself

Since December, I’ve been in hibernation mode and I’ve really struggled to get out and about. I’ve wanted to stay close to home and just relax, but I feel its time to start slowly crawling out of this cocoon I’ve built and participate in life again.

It was necessary for me to take a step back from life so I could continue to heal from surgery and reevaluate my life. As I had some big life changes, friendship changes and growing in self confidence.

I’ve also been rediscovering who I am as a person, been trying to find my style, who I want to be as a man, what I am willing to put up with, who I want in my life, my expectations of every. So the hibernation time has been a really important part of that, as its allowed me the time and space to just sit and be and to look back on how things went before and what I want my future to look like now.

I’ve learnt that I had put myself into the role of care taker, for practically everyone in my life and I was always waiting on who needed me next, I was always making myself available for other people even if it meant not putting myself first.

I know I am a natural healer, which is really cool and I love helping people but I also need to know my value as an individual. I have stopped helping people at the detriment to myself, I’ve been putting up clear boundaries with people as well, which isn’t always easy but it makes me feel good.

I’m going to stop putting my life on hold and start doing the things I want to do. I’ve spent so much time making myself available for other people, just in case I’m needed, that my life kinda took a back seat.

I’ve made myself available for the people who wouldn’t do the same for me. I’ve realised that some friendships I was in were making my self esteem so low, due to the way I was talked to and treated. I am more capable then I realise and I am totally ready to see what I am capable of doing.

I want this year to be fun, I want to have adventures, I want to make memories, I don’t want to be reliant on anyone, I don’t want to be looking after everyone.

I know I can be a healer whilst remaining autonomous and not feeling like I HAVE to be there for that particular person.

This week I am hoping to go on an adventure, but I’m not going to say where and when until it happens. As I’ve learnt that if I announce what I’m going to do, it feels like so much pressure and I find it hard to then commit too. But I will keep you all posted.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – The beast that is Gender dysphoria

What is gender dysphoria? Gender dysphoria is where you experience a disconnection between your biological sex and gender identity. It comes in varying degrees of distress and varies from person to person.

My dysphoria was always worse around my chest, I’ve always hated my chest. I never connected with it and as I got older I just tried to completely detach myself from that part of my body. It caused me immense pain and stress and it was such a relief to finally have had top surgery. But I still have a huge disconnection with my chest and in fact myself in general.

After surgery, I tried not to touch my chest too much as I wanted the healing process to go smoothly, as I was at a higher risk of complications due to having granulomtosis with polyangiitis. So I was probably a bit too careful, as I was worried that the nipple grafts wouldn’t take and I would get infections and luckily the nipple grafts took and I didn’t get any infections.

Even though my scars are fully healed, I still struggle to touch my chest around my scars. I think a lot of that is because there’s still such a huge disconnect between mind and body, because of the intense gender dysphoria I have had surrounding my chest. To the point I’ve really struggled with aftercare, because it means touching my scars.

It’s something I am working on to improve, which isn’t easy. Today I put the surgical tape over my scars, which I’m meant to wear a few days a week to strengthen them. I am hoping this will help me have a better connection to my chest, I’m also trying to spend a few mins a day touching my chest and again maybe it will help me connect with my body more.

I have no regrets in anyway about getting top surgery done, it feels right. I always hated wearing a bra or binding because that never felt like a natural thing to me, it always felt super weird. So being able to get dressed without having to wear a bra or bind, feels like how it should have been all along, it feels more natural, feels good.

I have the same disconnect when I look in the mirror, I don’t recognise the person looking back at me, but I never did. I’ve always struggled with my reflection, I don’t quite know why. I don’t think it can all be blamed on the gender dysphoria, maybe low self esteem, trauma has had an impact.

The dysphoria has been bad to the point where I have struggled and still struggle with dissociation, which is kinda like a break in your mind, so its caused my memories to be out of order and somethings I just can’t recall at all, its a complete disconnect from thoughts and feelings too.

Dissociation for me often feels like I am trapped inside my head and can’t get out. I often lose chunks of time, as I just sit and stare into space. Lack on concentration too, sometimes I really struggle to even think straight. It’s sometimes such a struggle to perform the simplest of tasks because I can’t get myself organised enough.

The dissociation hasn’t been as bad since I had top surgery, it’s less intense and happens less often. I feel more in control of my mind but I still get bad days, especially when I’m tired.

Today the gender dysphoria has been really kicking my ass and it’s exhausting. To take it back a bit before I explain what’s been happening today. Back in August 2019, I was 2 years on testosterone, so I had to go have a ultrasound scan of my womb, as its standard procedure, as testosterone can increase the chance of problems in that area. The results said the lining of my uterus was still thick and it shouldn’t be, so they made me an appointment to see a gynaecologist, which I have on the 24th Jan.

Since a bit before my scan, I kept getting cramps now and again, like period pains. Now I’ve not had a shark week for about 4 years, as I take the pill without a break. As testosterone hasn’t stopped them and they just aren’t something that is good for my mental health, again like my chest having shark weeks are so stressful and makes me feel so depressed, so having them just isn’t an option. But over the last few months the stomach cramps have increased, they don’t last too long and don’t happen every day but they are pretty intense and just reminds me of the parts of my body that I hate with a passion.

Its really sucky, as it makes me feel so shit. I makes me feel like a bit of a freak and it just spirals down from there, into a decent of such bad thoughts. Which I won’t go into right now, as I’m trying not to walk down that path at the moment, that’s why I decided to sit and write this out.

I don’t know what to expect at this gynaecologist appointment this week, which is a bit scary and I really hope they don’t have to do an internal examination as I don’t know how I would cope with that. But I’m trying not to think about that right now and just hope its a talking appointment.

I think before I started testosterone I had the idea that it would maybe make the gender dysphoria go away, although I know rationally that’s a pretty optimistic view. Same with top surgery, I thought it would make the gender dysphoria go away. But I think it’s something that will always be a work in progress.

I don’t think the dysphoria is something that completely goes away, but I think if I continue to work on connecting my mind and body so they are more aligned with one another, then that will at least help ease this huge disconnection I have from myself. It feels like such a huge task and sometimes feels like I’ll never feel at peace.

I do and have felt at peace since starting my physical transition, so I do know it is possible. It just feels out of reach at the moment, but I am working on getting back to myself, through counselling, writing things out and trying my best to be kind to myself.

My own worst bully

Who else struggles with negative self talk?? Cuz I certainly do, I am my own worst bully, far worse then anything I ever faced from any real life person.

I’m so bad for constantly picking myself apart and flogging myself to the point of depression. It’s such a bad habit of mine and I think as I move closer to turning 35, it’s gotten worse. I have a habit of comparing my life to others and feel like I am so behind everyone and where I feel I should be.

I have to remind myself that there is no set timeline, I am where I am meant to be and we all have our own paths. It’s still so hard though, not to feel like a complete failure.

I haven’t had the easiest of lives, I live every day with a autoimmune disorder, which effects my health on a daily basis, poor mental health and being trans as well, hasn’t been an easy path. I have a lot of unresolved trauma, which is buried deep inside, that I can’t really remember, or put into order, but I am slowly trying to work through these things. I’m grateful to still be here, living my life and I know that some day my path will help others, I hope anyway,

I always feel like I SHOULD be doing more, I SHOULD have achieved more by now, I SHOULD be better then I am. Those should’s suck! I put so much pressure on myself and for what? All those should’s just make me feel like shit and it kinda ends up being a self fulfilling prophecy and I end up doing nothing.

The way I talk to myself is so mean, I wouldn’t dare talk to another human like that. So why do we do it to ourselves? Why are we so mean? I know for me a lot of it comes down to low self esteem and feeling unworthy and I am trying to be kinder to myself, changing that inner monologue from such negative, bullying, horrible stuff to being more kinder and more compassionate to myself.

It’s really hard changing how you talk to yourself, some days are worse then others. But I am trying my best to be as kind and compassionate to myself as I am to others. It will always be a work in progress and that’s cool, things don’t change over night.

To anyone struggling with negative self talk, YOU ARE WORTHY! YOU MATTER! YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Peace out

Zak

Hibernation mode

I’ve been really struggling to write on a regular basis, even though I know it helps me. I’ve been trying to write in my notebook, as that feels a bit less pressure then writing my blog, as it doesn’t have to make sense, or even full sentences. It’s mainly just random, partially formed thoughts, that are rolling around in my head.

I’ve had a lot of blog ideas, stuff I want to write about, delve deeper into. But I just haven’t had the motivation to do so.

The weather has been so sucky recently, we’ve had so much rain! There’s been very few nice days in what feels like forever! and this really hasn’t helped with my low mood, lack of motivation.

I’ve also been overeating, ugh! which makes me feel so shitty. Throughout December my excuse for eating crap was its Christmas, so it was cool to eat crap. But I was cooking dinner for myself every day, which in the past I’ve really struggled with. In recent weeks, I’ve kind of lost control over my eating and I’ve been eating too much, eating when I’m not even hungry and eating more crappy shit then I actually did in December.

I’ve recognised that I am overeating due to low mood and being bored, which is the first step to getting my eating back to not normal but eating less. I’ve stopped buying in crappy snacks and I’ve been trying intermittent fasting, which has helped me in the past to regain control over my overeating.

I know this will help improve my mood, as overeating makes me feel so crap and I’ve put on so much weight as well, which makes me feel so gross about myself. Now I’m on testosterone any weight I put on goes straight to my stomach and man I just look like a pot bellied pig right now! I already have pretty low self esteem and right now its really low.

Since December, I’ve been in hibernation mode, eating snacks and mainly staying at home on my own, out of choice. It’s been great, I’ve really needed to recharge and relax. Usually I don’t like being alone for too long and it in the past has effected my mood. But I’ve actually really enjoyed this time alone, I’ve not missed being around people, it hasn’t effected my mood like it usually does. It’s definitely been a huge spiritual change that I’ve been going through recently and it feels great. I feel like I’m standing on the edge of something great but I’m not quite ready to make that leap out of my cocoon and fly over the edge and that’s ok, things take time.

I’m still not ready to come out of hibernation mode just get and that’s cool, I just need to maybe push myself a little bit to write actual blog posts as well as my random notes I’ve got floating around in my millions of notebooks lol!

Peace out

Zak

Winter sunshine

Friday afternoon I took the dogs out for a walk, as the sun was shining and I was feeling ok, despite having a cold. We all needed to get some fresh air, I was just going to go for a short walk but we ended up being out for about 2 hours.

I love being outside, it was so nice just walking with the sun on my face and the dogs had a blast playing with other dogs, a little girl was playing football with Scrappy which he loved, fox said hello to every human possible lol.

Walking is so great for my mental health and overall well-being, it’s always such a great pick me up and it’s free! Which is even better. I’ve started taking Scrappy for an evening walk, just me and him as we could both stand to loose a little bit of weight and it’s just good to get out a beat the January blues.

I love photography, I love taking pictures of my dogs and the sunshine, I’m by no means a professional but it makes me happy 🙂

Here are some of my pictures from our walk on Friday, I hope you enjoy them

Peace out

Zak

Christmas 2019

Hey all! I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately. I’ve just been relaxing, sitting back and taking stock of my life, which has been really great. I don’t quite think I’m fully ready to come out of my little cocoon just yet, but I love writing and it really helps me, so I’ve decided to stop procrastinating, get over myself and write! Lol!

I thought I’d start with a short post about how my Christmas was and share some pictures.

I spent Christmas with a friend, which was cool. Just had a relaxing day, went for a walk as the weather was lovely, opened presents, had dinner, played a board game, the usual Christmas Day stuff.

The walk was lovely, the sun was shining, loads of people out for an afternoon walk, the dogs had lots of fun too. It’s rained so much lately that it was so nice to have a break from the grey, dreary weather.

Here are some pictures of my fur babies and our walk

Peace out

Zak