Keeping busy during lock down

The last few days I’ve been pretty lazy and disconnected from life and not wanting to participate in life, which obviously hasn’t made me feel great.

My nose has been really stuffy the last few days and I think that’s because I’ve spent a lot of time laying down and sitting down. Which also isn’t good for my joints, I’ve been more achy then usual. Being on lockdown and having physical health and mental health issues is going to take a toll on both.

Today I got up at 9:30 am, did the housework, had breakfast, filled in my personal wellness journal, I had a delivery of food for the fur babies and cat litter which should hopefully keep them going for a while. I took the dogs for a wee, dropped them home and went to Asda as I needed to pay my rent and electric. I paid more then I usually do, so I don’t have to keep going out. I went to the pharmacy to pick up my medications and the line was pretty long but fair play to the staff working their asses off to make sure everyone gets what they need.

I weighed myself this morning and holy shit I got fat! I’ve been eating too much and being so freaking lazy! I’m 10st 12′ which is probably why my blood pressure is super high at the moment. I’ve decided I am going to loose this weight and usually once I’ve put my mind to something I will do it. I’ve started by intermittent fasting, which will hopefully help me to stop binge eating and eating when I’m bored. I’m also going to try exercise inside by doing a bit of Yoga, walking inside, using my weights.

I’m going to sit and write out a rough timetable of things to do everyday, so I don’t go insane lol! And so I make sure the fur babies and I are getting the stimulation we need, so our brains don’t turn to mush! I will share my rough timetable, which hopefully will give you guys some ideas of how to stay sane too.

I got myself Disney+ and NowTV Kids, along with Netflix and Amazon Prime I’m not short of things to watch. But I also need to get a balance of watching TV and having some quiet time to read, nap and listen too podcasts. I find I write better with the TV on which is weird.

I think before this day is out I may shave my hair lol! As going to the barbers isn’t essential and my hair is already starting to look a bit wild. I need to trim my facial hair and sort my eyebrows out lol! I will not look like a caveman at the end of this lock down! hahaha.

One thing that I am have done today is to keep my windows open, so I have some fresh air coming through, so I don’t feel so claustrophobic. It’s also good for your lungs and mental health to have a flow of fresh air, when stuck inside.

I’m definitely feeling much better today and I think actually getting up and doing stuff has helped.

I may write more a bit later,

Peace out

Zak

Surviving self isolation

I’ve spent the last few days thinking about stuff, I think being forced into self/social isolation has a tendency to do that. Whilst I am used to social isolation, its something that is really bad for my mental health. So I’ve had to really think about how I am going to get through this, without spiralling into the darkness.

The first thing I decided was to start back on trazadone, I decided to stop taking it as I felt like I no longer needed it. Although having stopped it, I realised they were helping more then I thought they were. They helped me focus, stop disassociating as much as I am right now, took the edge off anxiety and depression, all which have come back but I’ve been able to keep on top of them a bit. Now we are in this self isolation and not being able to do everything I enjoy I know my mood, anxiety and disassociation will get worse, so I know I need to get on top of this. Not something I really wanted to do but I need to do.

I need to write down a list of things I need and see if I can try and get hold of them, I don’t need much just a few bits to get by. But as I’m vulnerable to this condition I need to try and be as prepared as possible.

I also need to write a list of things I can do inside, things I can do to keep the fur babies occupied as well. I can still take them for walks but with my chronic pain and fatigue I can’t always be outside with them.

I need to write out a rough routine that I can try and follow, I do better with a routine. Although I know I easily get bored of routine, so it won’t be something I will follow strictly just guidelines really so I don’t feel like I’m just floating around.

My asthma clinic appointment was cancelled as my doctors aren’t doing face to face appointments unless they are an emergencies, which I understand. I can still get my testosterone injection as that is something I need, so that is booked in for 14th April. I did ask if I can get paracetamol on prescription just for now, as I cannot find it anywhere and I don’t want to search the shops. I was told to ring back, but wasn’t able to get through, so I will try again tomorrow.

I plan on writing more, whether that is a blog or just scribbling down in my notebooks. I’ve felt so disconnected from myself I’ve struggled to write anything that I felt connected with.

Once I have some stuff written down about how to get through this self isolation, I will share it on here and hopefully as a community we can come together and help each other get through this.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – How I prepared for top surgery.

I thought it might be helpful to write about how I prepared for top surgery, as I don’t think there’s enough information out there about it. There’s lots on the surgery itself and not much about post surgery, especially if you don’t have family to support you.

As soon as I got my date for surgery, I wrote a list a big list of everything I thought I would need and what I would need to do running up to surgery. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I’m pretty good and planning and organising myself and being over-prepared.

I also have 2 cats and 2 dogs, who are my absolute world so I needed to make sure not only was I prepared but they were also going to be cared for and had everything they needed.

LISTS! cannot express enough about how helpful lists are and also feels great when you finally get stuff ticked off. Plus they are a great visual aid to see how much you need to get and for me its just a great way to help organise my brain and figure out when I need to get things and in what order.

I belong to a great facebook group called TMSA social and support, they have two separate groups. They have files for surgeons which is where I picked mine from and everyone is super friendly and were so helpful when I asked for advice about what I needed post op top surgery. Highly recommend this group.

So here is what I bought and organised for top surgery pre and post op.

One of the hardest things was asking for help, I created a FB group chat with friends asking for help, I needed a lift to my pre op appointment and back, then a lift to hospital for surgery and a lift home again. I needed someone to stay at my house and look after my fur babies. I needed people to come over and help me take the dogs out, help with housework etc.

Everyone was amazing I got the support I needed, which was amazing. I had friends who took me back and forth to the hospital for my pre op appointment, surgery itself, post surgery and post surgery check up appointments. I also had friends stay at my flat and look after my fur babies, who had the best time.

Unfortunately I didn’t really have the support once I was back home, which sucked but I managed. I did have a couple of friends who came over and cooked for me, which was great but I was hoping for a little more help. Maybe I expected a bit too much, but I’ve made my peace with this all now.

I bought myself a amazon fire tablet, heaphones and microSD card, so I could download films to watch while I was in hospitals. I’m glad I bought it, it came in real useful, I watched quite a lot of films.

After surgery you aren’t allowed to shower for a while, so I bought some Clinitex body wipes from amazon and man am I so glad I did they were amazing, they made me feel pretty clean. I definitely recommend them.

I bought slippers and a dressing gown but I didn’t actually end up needing them, as they were provided but if in your paperwork they suggest them I’d buy them just in case, that’s if you don’t already own them.

I bought 2XL vest tops to wear after surgery, as it was in August and they were easy to slip on and off. I wore zipped hoodies as they were easy to get on and off too, as after you have limited movement in your arms for a few weeks. I bought the vest tops from Primark as they were only £2 each.

I am on lots of different prescribed medications and over the counter medications. I asked my GP for 2 months worth of all my meds so I didn’t have to worry to much about them and then I made sure I had enough of my over the counter medications, paracetamol, sinus rinse and vitamins.

I am on a key meter for my electric, so over the weeks running up to surgery I kept adding more then I usually put on my electric, so I knew I would be covered, same with my rent, I made sure I put extra money on my rent too.

I stocked up on basic household stuff, toilet rolls, washing up liquids, you know the boring adult household stuffs lol!

(NOTE I did a lot of stocking up no stuff! lol)

I stocked up on dog/cat food, cat litter, poop bags, treats.. again general stuff I would normally get to care for my gorgeous fur babies.

As I had a few friends stay over, I made labels for all the cupboards so it was easy for them to find stuff. I also made a list of instructions for the fur babies and just general information…yeah I said I was a bit of a control freak, which stems from anxiety.

I love my incense sticks and candles so I made sure I had them in.

I have a battery pack I took to charge my phone at tablet whilst I was in hospital, I made sure that was fully charged the day before I had surgery.

I made sure I had snacks, drinks and easy to make food in the flat. I mainly ate snacks and takeaways lol!

I bought these great hydration tablets O.R.S hydration tablets from amazon, they were great and I still use them now, especially for days I don’t drink enough.

These last few things were probably the most helpful of all.

So after surgery you aren’t meant to lay flat for a while, so I bought two V shaped pillows, two regular pillows and a memory foam neck pillow.

The neck pillow came in handy whilst I was in hospital after surgery, I used it when I was sleeping and it made the whole experience more comfortable.

The V pillows and two other pillows were great for when I was at home recovering, I spent 4/5 weeks sleeping on the sofa, as it was just the most comfortable place for me.

I honestly can’t say enough at how much those 3 particular pillows helped so much.

So for me that was is really, I’m pretty good at self care and looking after myself, so that part wasn’t too hard.

I couldn’t have done it without spending months of organising and planning, without the people who helped me.

If you’ve found this helpful, please feel free to share and use this as a guide to going through top surgery.

Peace out

Zak

Dealing with disassociation – with self care

Schedule for tomorrow, this helps so much with disassociation and trying to get some stuff done. It’s mostly dependent on weather, pain and energy levels. I’m hoping I don’t feel as wiped out tomorrow so Scrappy and I can get out for a good walk, I may take Fox if it’s not too cold.

For me this is a form of self care whilst helping me stay in the moment. But I always make sure how I’m feeling before doing anything, so that my physical health is also taken into consideration, as well as my mental health.

I’m hoping I can get out and walk the dogs tomorrow as I was so wiped out this weekend because of the pneumonia jab I had Friday, but if I still need another day to rest and recover the that’s ok too, I have other low energy things that need to be done at some point as well.

I never put pressure on myself to complete everything and in the time scales I’ve set. It’s more of a reminder of what I need and want to do and having a rough time scale helps. If I manage everything then brilliant, it does make me feel good and even if I don’t manage everything but do a few things then that’s great as well and also makes me feel good because at least I’ve done something. But if I don’t manage anything at all because I’m in too much pain or too exhausted or both then that’s also absolutely fine too, because resting and doing nothing is as good as being productive because it’s still extremely important self care

Peace out

Zak

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I don’t often write in between my weekly transition blogs, but I feel like I needed to write today, I got things I just need to get out and maybe it will help me make sense of everything.

It’s probably gonna come out a bit all over the place and scattered, but that’s how my brain is feeling at the moment. It probably won’t be strictly transition related but a bit of everything that happening in my life at the moment, so transition, physical health, mental health, family etc…

I can’t even remember the last time I just wrote a regular blog entry, must have been a while ago now.

I literally don’t know where to even start… Ok I’ll start with the good stuff going on, so I can get into the flow of things and unpick my brain as I go along.

My name change is all official now, which is really awesome and feels so good. I am now legally Mr Zak Dyllan Mills! Woohoo! I’ve already changed it at the bank and the doctors and I’ve written some letters too, they just need posting. It just feels really right and just the next part of my transition, I feel much more like me now. Which probably sounds weird as its just a name but for me a name is quite an important part of my identity and how the world views me and how I view myself. So yeah feeling pretty awesome about that.

Last Sunday my new little nephew Alex came into the world, weighing in at 9lbs 3! the lil fatty lol but he’s so damn cute. I already had cuddles on Tuesday with him, he was just so content just laying on my lap fast asleep, he’s so chill. Proud uncle to 3 nephews, which is insane! the eldest will be 9 this year, its just flown by so fast. I absolutely adore all of them.

Physical health hasn’t really been too great this year, I’ve had infection after infection. Over the new years I kept getting nose bleeds, I then had a sinus infection, then last month I had a ear infection and at the moment I’ve had a chest infection for about 3 weeks and I’ve had lots of really bad nose bleeds as well. So I’m not sure what’s really going on, but I went to Southampton hospital this week and he took some blood to see what was happening. As he didn’t want to up the cellcept and make me more immuo-suppressed just in case its just been back luck that I’ve been getting ill and not due to my Churg Strauss Syndrome playing up, but he can’t tell until he gets the results. I’m hoping I’ll hear about the results soon and I’mm also kind of hoping its just been a bad run of luck getting ill and nothing more serious then that. But when nose bleeds are involved I know its more likely to be my condition as nose bleeds were one of my first ever symptoms. I’ll just have to see what happens with all this… I am hoping its nothing serious, I’d rather not up any medication if I don’t have too.

My mental health has been a bit of a mixture recently, its been quite difficult to deal with and I know its made me a bit harder to be around as well. Its not really been the bipolar that I’ve been struggling to control, although fighting with the depression and bad thoughts some days seems like the easy part of it all. I’ve been really struggling with the gender dysphoria, it hits so hard and its overwhelming and intense beyond words. The slightest thing can kick it off and I feel like I have zero control over it, which in itself is kinda frustrating and a bit scary.

Its my chest that is causing all the distress, anxiety and stress. I want top surgery so bad. I’ve never liked my chest, its always made me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. When the dysphoria hits, I feel so detached, I feel like a ghost, I just want to be as far away from myself and my body as I can get, so I just disassociate but then I find it hard to get back in my body again. It really effects my mood, it makes me feel so depressed and really agitated because I’m not comfortable in my skin, because it doesn’t feel like it belongs to me, its never really belonged to me. I know I have to do some work around acceptance of self etc, as I know surgery will not fix all the emotional stuff but it will ease it. But right now that seems like a big thing to work on by myself.

I’m already starting to stress about summer and the warmer weather, as I get hot easily so it wont be as easy to cover up while remaining comfortable. I’m already aware that its gonna cause me a huge deal of stress and anxiety and it may make me less likely to go out far, I’m already anticipating how I’m going to feel, be etc… So I don’t know how I’m going to handle that and get through it.

Not being able to bind my chest makes it all the worse, I think maybe if I could bind that would take a bit of anxiety and stress out of it, I’ve been still trying on the high impact sports bras as they were the most comfortable out of everything I tried but its still not comfortable enough, especially with my chest problems I experience anyway. Its just so fucking frustrating! and doesn’t seem to be getting any easier to deal with, but the longer I’m on T the worse its getting to deal with and most days I feel pretty agitated and anxious. Its not so bad if I’m just at home and not really going anywhere, but as soon as I’ve got to go out for any period of time, especially on my own then I feel so self conscious, agitated and anxious.

I feel like I’m stuck in a limbo, like life can’t move forward right now and I know I’ve stopped moving forward, I wouldn’t know where to go now anyway. I just feel stuck, waiting for life to start again but I can’t find the button. I know I shouldn’t be waiting for top surgery but that’s what it feels like, I feel like after that then my life can start going again, where too I don’t know. I know my life can be better then it is right now, but I don’t know where I’m going, what I want, what direction, what I should or shouldn’t be doing… I’m in a rut and I hate it. Desperately trying to find things that make me really happy and not much is making me as happy as before. I mean I’m not totally unhappy, but I know things can and should be better, I just lost the drive to find it, I feel lost.

Ok… so maybe I needed to write this a more then I really realised but feels good to get it all out, I can breathe now. Been feeling mostly ok today, as I’ve stayed close to home, I’ve only been out to take the dogs for a run. Have felt so so tired today, I’ve just been chilling and looking after myself. I also finished writing out my ESA forms, I just need to get my paperwork together and then Monday I can post it all off recorded delivery, so they can’t say they didn’t get it. But I’ll sort that out on Monday I think, gonna spend the rest of the weekend just relaxing and looking after myself.

That’s it for now, am getting hungry…bloody steroids lol! Gonna go cook myself some food, although I’d really love a take away but money is low.. so cooking it is lol!

Peace out

Zak

Food Diary – I’m still trying

I keep seeing a advert on TV for Nana’s magic soup. It’s a tesco advert and I thought I’d give it a go. So yesterday I bought all the ingredients and came home and made it and again to my surprise it was really yum and fairly quick and easy to make as well. I had loads left over which, I’ve frozen so I can have in the week.

https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/nanas-magic-soup.html

^ that’s the link for the recipe and how to cook it.

IMG_8076

^ Picture of the soup

I am trying really hard to try new food, it’s not very consistent and that’s mainly because of my mood. But yeah I am trying really hard to get on top of this food phobia thing.

Peace out

Batman

Food diary – Another update

Once again I’ve been a bit slack on a few things but I’ve been really struggling with disassociation and binge eating. I’ve been trying so hard to get on top of it all and I’ve been stressing out so much. Stressing out has been making everything worse and I’ve been eating so much until I feel so so sick and my thoughts and memories are so disorganised, disjointed and just strange and unreal.

The last few days I’ve been trying to get back on track with reading and meditating daily and I have felt a little more settled.

I was watching a TV show called This Morning and this lady was on and she was cooking Prawn and Chicken Jambalaya. I was sat thinking that it looked really nice, well apart from prawns as I don’t like them, so I decided that I was going to make it for dinner tonight.

I’ve been doing my food shopping as and when I need things, I was finding I was getting 2 weeks worth of shopping and not eating everything I bought and had a lot of wasted food. Even though shopping as and when takes up more time and energy, its a bit more cost effective as I’m not wasting food.

Today along with the chicken jambalaya, I also tried some green olives and I can safely say that I am not a fan! They were gross, even the dogs didn’t like them lol. But I am pleased I tried them.

So this evening I cooked the chicken jambalaya, it took me a little longer then the lady on TV said it should take lol but it turned out so well and I really really enjoyed it and I was mega surprised as well. Its not usually something I would eat, mainly because its a bit spicy but I am so pleased I just went for it and made it. I even have enough left for 2 more dinners, which is awesome.

This probably isn’t the most well written blogs I’ve ever done because I am struggling to organise my thoughts right now but I’ve tried my best. As usual I’m not going to say if I’ll try something new next week as I think that’s just a bit too much to ask from myself right now. My main goal is to keep on top of the binge eating because if I cannot do it alone I’m probably going to have to seek help because it cannot continue.

Peace out

Batman

Food diary – Week 5

This week has been a bit difficult food wise, eating has been giving me anxiety. I think its related to my weight and gender dysphoria, as that’s been pretty bad this week.

For those who don’t know, I am a trans guy. That means I was born female but I don’t identify with the female body parts and this causes a great deal of distress. I am currently waiting for an appointment to talk about starting testosterone, so that’s super exciting. My weight gain hasn’t helped with how I feel about my body but I am changing my diet little by little but its difficult with all the other things I have to contend with.

Anyway, I tried two different things this week. One was Kippers…I didn’t like them, is the short answer to trying that one lol. But I did also try pineapple, I just bought fresh pineapple that was already sliced up. I live on my own and didn’t want to waste a whole pineapple. I really enjoyed the pineapple, it was so sweet and sharp but tasted good.

As usual I googled to see if the dogs could eat pineapple and turns out they can, so they both had a try but only Scrappy ate it, Foxy was not impressed lol. It said I can freeze the pineapple for tasty summer treats for the puppers, so that’s good to know.

As usual no plans of what I’m gonna have next week, can’t think about that right now.

Peace out

Batman

My food diary – Week 3

So there are two parts to this weeks blog, I haven’t tried new food per-say but I tired a new meal and a new restaurant.

I’ll start with the new restaurant, so on Sunday I felt so so ill with a sinus infection, which I get all the time at the moment as my immune disorder isn’t currently under control. My head was so sore, I hurt all over, the weathers been rubbish and I was really hungry. I really didn’t have the energy to cook, I didn’t really fancy pizza hut. So I ordered from a place called Chicken N Blues, now this may seem easy for most people but when you have a issue with food its really not easy or simple eating at new places. I have a real fear of eating at places I never have before, I get worried about if I’ll like the food, will the food make me sick…the list goes on. So a simple thing to most people was actually a big thing for me. I ordered a grilled chicken wrap and corn on the cob and waited for it to be delivered.

My food arrived, I got a can of Pepsi and my tray and got comfy on the sofa. I unwrapped my chicken wrap and took a huge bite and wow omg I can’t believe I’ve never eaten that before, it was amazing and I ate the whole thing. It was so good, I literally could eat that every day lol. It was so good I had it Monday night too lol. I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and got food from a new place. I’m definitely getting better at this food bizz lol.

Part 2 of my diary is that I cooked a meal tonight, I had sweet and sour pork stir fry, with egg noodles. I used a rainbow stir fry veg mix, sweet and sour sauce with pineapple, pork and egg noodles, all from Asda. Now I don’t think I cooked the noodles properly as I’ve never cooked fresh pasta before, so I didn’t end up eating them. But hey cooking is about trial and error I suppose. But I really enjoyed the rest of it, all of it I’ve eaten before but I don’t think I’ve eaten it altogether before. I certainly haven’t cooked it for myself before and its definitely something I will eat again.

I know this isn’t strictly trying a new food but I still feel its helping me tackle me issues with food by stepping out of my comfort zone a bit. Oh I got food shopping delivered today and I bought myself more raspberries as I really enjoyed them last week.

Again no plans for what I’m going to try next week, will probably see on the day.

Peace out

Batman

My Food Diary -Week 2

So it has been a week since I last posted and my appetite hasn’t been great. I’ve been eating breakfast and lunch but not dinner. This is down to a few things, low mood, lack of energy and the fact I want to lose weight and I know the less I eat the quicker the weight will fall off, maybe not the best way but right now I’m really struggling with my mood.

This week the food I tried was raspberries and to my surprise I actually like them. I found them really sweet and tasty. I definitely think I’ll be eating them again, my only issue is that they are so expensive, £2 for 150gs and people wonder why we have a obesity issue. For £2 I can get 12 packet of crisps. Anyway I digress, I think I’ll be finishing these raspberries because they were so nice.

Next week I think I might try a new vegetable as then it might encourage me to actually make dinner so go with it. Again I’m not going to plan too much in advance but it will require a bit more planning as I’ll have to plan the meal to go with it.

That’s all for now

Peace out

Batman