Coronavirus

Some years ago I met a lovely lady in a vasculitis group on FaceBook called Tracie Jayne Jacob. Even though we had never met she was always so lovely and super supportive.

Tracie was diagnosed with the coronavirus 2 weeks ago and on Saturday morning, she sadly lost her battle and passed away.

It’s beyond devastating and hits so close to home, she was only mid 40s’s and had a similar physical health condition to me.

This virus takes no prisoners, it doesn’t care who you are, how old you are, it will come for you.

If you think you won’t it won’t effect you, you’re wrong! eventually you will know someone who will be effected.

Please stay safe out there, do as the government advises you too, yes it sucks staying in and not hanging out with your friends, family but it will save lives. Especially those like myself who are at very high risk of this awful virus. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for those in your life who are vulnerable. Now is not a time to be selfish, now is the time to think of your community, to keep everyone safe.

Tracie, I hope you are at peace now, forever in my heart.

Rest in Peace my friend

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 6 Weeks post op Top surgery

Today marks 6 weeks since I had top surgery and its still feels a bit surreal and kinda dream like, but its the dream I’ve been dreaming for so long and it feels amazing.

I am really fussy with clothes and one of my concerns was that I non of my top would feel right after surgery, but so far I’ve not had any problems, in fact today I tried on a t-shirt that I’ve not worn in a while because it was tight across my chest area and it now fits perfectly! which I’m so happy about, its an Adventure Time t-shirt and its one of my faves.

I can finally sleep on my side properly now! which feels great. I don’t sleep well on my back but I’ve had too. So I’m hoping I can get my sleeping pattern a bit better and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep a bit better now as well.

Now my scars are healed and I have no scabs left I can go swimming! which I am beyond happy about, I love swimming and I love being in the water, near the water. I’m such a water baby! So now I need to get myself some swim shorts and find somewhere to swim. My local pool is always chilly which hurts my bones, but I know another pool close to me is always warmer. But I know the thought and actually doing it will be 2 different things, it will be scary but so freeing!

Apart from like once or twice, I’ve mainly been seen as male when I’m out and about which is amazing! Especially when out with my dogs and people are calling me their DAD! instead of mum, which used to really kill me each time, it was like a dagger through me. I’ve also noticed I get spoken to differently, it’s often quite nuanced but some occasions its more clear.

I’m starting to feel like I’m finding my place, like where I’m meant to be, who I’m meant to be. I don’t think in the 34 years I’ve ever felt like my real self or like I belonged anywhere, I’m slowly starting to feel who I am on the inside. I always felt trapped inside my head, inside this body but now I feel like its all starting to come out and I can live life as the real me and it feels good.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – Selfies

This isn’t something I’ve spoken about much, mainly because it’s something that’s happened gradually over my transition.

Looking through Facebook memories and the last year I’ve taken a less selfies, compared to previous years where I’ve posted multiple selfies a day.

I think a lot of it is that now I’m nearly 2 years on testosterone, I’m more self conscious, so don’t want to see pictures of myself.

Maybe after top surgery I’ll feel more myself and much more confident in myself.

I’ve become really closed off and extremely anxious about like everything. I shut people out, cut people off, really easily. Which is not me at all, I’m slowly starting to open myself up again and pushing through the fear, anxiety and negativity.

Again I think top surgery will help with a lot of it. I know it won’t be the absolute solution and I still have a lot of work still to do on myself. But I think it will be a big relief.

I took a couple of pictures today with my dogs which was cool, I felt ok about it.

^ me and Foxy girl

^ me and Scrappy doodles

I’ve also been shaving my face once a week to get the hair growth to come through. Because I gets spots around my chin and upper lip I don’t want to shave more often than that as it makes them sore, so once a week is enough for now. That’s another thing that makes me anxious/gender dysphoric is that my legs are super hairy but my face isn’t yet. I know in time it will get more fluffy but it does get a bit frustrating.

Anyway that’s all for now

Peace out

Zak

2018 – What a year!!!

Yet another year is nearly over and 2019 is just on the horizon.

Its been another year full of ups and downs and for the most part its been an absolutely incredible time.

March was probably the most eventful months of this year, I got snowed in on my birthday due to storm beast from the east, two weeks after my birthday my 3rd nephew came into the world, I changed my name to Zak and the end of March was when I started a relationship with someone I’d been getting to know for a few months.

That was the start of an incredible 7 months and despite how things have ended I wouldn’t change a single thing.

The summer weather definitely made up for the freezing cold, snowy March. Summer was crazy hot! For months! And England qualified for the semifinals for the first time in forever!

I applied for and got my first passport in this millennium! My last passport ran out 14 years ago! I now have valid ID… which I’ve not needed yet 😂

I took my partner and my dogs on my first holiday in 10 years. We went to Dawlish in Devon, it’s such a beautiful part of the country. It was so nice to get away and that’s probably where I knew I was in love with this lovely human being.

Then came the Eminem concert at Twickenham stadium with my best friend. It was such an incredible experience, once in a lifetime opportunity! Just amazing.

End of July I had my first consultation for top surgery! Which is great!! I’ve picked a surgeon, I just need to chase up about a second appointment.

Towards the end of the summer, my partner and I went to Rize Festival in Chelmsford, which was an amazing experience as I’d never been to a festival before. It was insane! But so much fun, we saw some amazing artists like Rita Ora, Manic street preachers, Rag n bone man, James bay, Bastille many others. But my favourite by far was seeing Plan B! He was on fire! I definitely want to go to another festival again!!

In September I did something that made me hugely anxious but I braved it and I’m glad I did. I went to London, to a spiritual channeling to meet my beautiful, wonderful friend Pamela in real life. We’ve known each other for 10 years + but we’d never actually met. But when we met all my anxiety left, it felt like we’d known each other forever, I so didn’t want to let her go. I’m so pleased I went, it was amazing and just what I needed.

Towards the end of September, things sort of unravelled but that’s life. Things ended with my partner, mainly because I know exactly what I want and they were unsure. No point either of us wasting each other’s time, but we’re still friends, we still talk, even though sometimes I find it hard, I’m grateful we still talk.

We had an incredible 6 months together, made amazing memories together and despite what happened those things will never change. We will always have those memories together.

Sometime in the summer I quit my volunteer work, I was no longer getting anything from it and felt like I wasn’t being treated fairly and felt like my mental health was used against me and I was just surrounded by toxic people which is never good for anyone.

But I now volunteer at pause cat cafe as a cat care person, which basically means I make sure all 12 cats are happy and healthy, fed on time, clean up behind them and obviously have lots of snuggles and play time. It’s good fun 🙂

As in previous posts I’ll be starting the new year without certain people who I’ve removed from my life, which is good but scary, as I feel like I don’t really have anyone.

Anyway here’s to another year, I don’t know what’s in store but we’ll see.

^ what a difference a year makes

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 40 on T

Another week on T and its been a odd week. I haven’t been feeling so great, so I’ve decided not to do a video this week. I don’t really have much to talk about and I’m feeling quite vulnerable and emotional so I don’t want to put myself out there by doing a video.

Part of how I feel is probably the testosterone as I’m due my shot on a week today and some of it is just personal stuff that I don’t really want to share.

So really short and sweet this week. Hopefully I’ll be feeling much better next week.

Week 40 on T

^ This weeks picture

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 21 on T

I’m writing this a day late this week, as yesterday I was having a bit of a hissy fit. So I ended up just sleeping and binge watching stuff on Netflix all day. I totally needed it and felt much better for it, the two previous nights I’d not slept well at all and I think it all finally caught up with me.

The reason I was having a bit of a moment was because at the weekend I had fraud on my card…again! For the 3rd time in about 3 years, its such an inconvenience being without a card. Also for some reason I had it in my head that I was getting paid this week… But I didn’t because I wasn’t due to get paid until next week URGH! I don’t know what happened, or how it happened but I totally mismanaged my money and was left with £8 for a week. I was totally kicking myself and I was so fucking angry with myself, I could not believe I fucked up so baldy. Some of my lovely friends though offered me money which was so sweet of them, but after much agonising I rang my grandparents and asked them for some money, which felt horrible! I hate asking for help and money especially from family. But thankfully they gave me £80, unfortunately £60 of that went straight into the bank for bills… and I’ve already spent the rest on food. But luckily I’m still owed a bit of money from a friend and my mum, so I won’t be totally skint.

So to say I was stressed was an understatement, I just couldn’t get over how I fucked up so bad. I ended up just sleeping on and off all day long, but I totally needed and I feel loads better today.

Anyway back to the transition stuff, I have noticed that the hair on my thighs have finally started growing and looking darker which is cool, the rest of my legs look like a forest and my armpits too, I’m so chuffed.

Yesterday I had my peak blood test for my testosterone levels and I should get my results tomorrow, which will tell me how often I will need to do my injections.

For a few days after my injection last week my appetite increased but that’s settled down now thankfully and from Fri-Mon my mood and energy was way up which felt good! Feeling a bit more settled and chill today and a bit more grounded.

Week 21 on T

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

That’s all for this week,

Peace out

Dyllan

Transition update – Week 8 on T

Week 8 on T and I did my 3rd shot today solo, it was pretty exciting and went really well. I was a little nervous about doing it but I just got on with and it was pretty easy, a tad fiddly but apart from that all went well.

I’m looking forward to seeing the next lot of changes from this injection.

As I’ve been sat here this evening, I’ve been looking up for a small desk and chair for my laptop, as sitting on my sofa trying to type isn’t very comfortable. So after I’ve finished this I’m going to measure up the little space that I have in mind, I may have to move a few bits around but that’s cool. I really need a proper little desk if I am going to write more often I need to be relatively comfortable. I’m hoping I can go pick it up tomorrow after slimming world.

Anyway not much really to say this week transition wise, I haven’t noticed anything new. Still feeling an internal peace which is cool.

Apart from my T shot today, I haven’t really done anything. I woke up feeling dizzy, absolutely exhausted and in so much pain. I dragged myself to the dentist to get 2 fillings done, I dragged myself home and just slumped onto the sofa and slept for a bit. I felt so much better afterwards, still have a weird groggy feeling today though. Can’t wait to get to bed

Week 8 on T

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Batman

Transition update – Week 3 on T

Today is week 3 of being on T and I’m due my next injection next Tuesday.

I am feeling pretty good right now, I feel a peacefulness inside that I haven’t felt before and it feels good. I feel more confident in myself too, like I feel just more myself then ever before and it feels good.

The only new physical changes I have noticed this week is that my chest feels and looks a bit flatter which is cool as I am unable to bind my chest. My chest looks a bit less noticeable, that makes the gender dysphoria a bit easier to deal with. I’ve got tons of spots coming up and I have a huge volcano of a spot on the back of my neck, its a bit sore and I’m trying hard not to pick them all.

Also been super hungry this week, like I just want to eat all the time. However today I haven’t felt as hungry, it does come and go. I have put on a pound or too, that’s partly my fault for eating all the naughty things I’ve been craving and not sticking to the slimming world plan. I need to get re-motivated and get back on eating properly

Anyway only a short one this week because I don’t feel like I have much to say as not much has been going on this week. Plus I really want to have a shower tonight, as I feel super greasy and achy.

 

Last note, always be your true self, be strong, be brave, you totally got this

Week 3 on T

Peace out

Batman

Beyond Exhausted

It’s only Monday and I’ve got a good feeling about this week and about the “stuff” going on in my life 🙂

I really struggled to get going this morning, I felt so so tired and felt like I hadn’t slept at all even though I’d had a really good nights sleep.

The flat was an absolute state and I really needed to get the housework done, not only because I wanted it done but someone was coming over to help me with my PIP appeal.

I literally had to drag myself around the flat to tidy up bit by bit and it took every ounce of the little energy I had to sort it out.

I then used my last bit of energy to have a shower and get dressed. I also took the pups out for a quick wee and a run, how I made it over the road and back I don’t know. I was running on empty by this point.

Hate feeling this exhausted, it makes me feel so weak and everything is so much more of an effort to do anything at all. Its almost like I’m carrying a person on my back and someone holding on to my ankles holding me back from walking. It makes me feel so dragged down, its really hard to explain to someone who’s never experienced it. All I want to do when I feel like that is sleep and all I can do when I feel like that is sleep.

Sadly I couldn’t sleep right away, as I had a lady come over to help me sort out my appeal for my PIP (personal independent payment) She was really nice and we spent nearly two hours talking about my conditions. She said they that I should have been given a point for having a pill box! Not that it would have made much of a difference BUT it’s utterly disgusting that they did not write that down. Most things I said they didn’t write down.

Anyway she seemed quite hopeful about my chances and she thinks that if my docs write me some good letters that it shouldn’t go further then a mandatory reconsideration, which should take about 6 weeks-ish. I am really hoping that it doesn’t have to go further then this but I will be ready just in case I have to fight it further.

She said I have a strong case for the care component part of the claim but the mobility component part of the claim maybe a bit trickier purely because I’m not in a wheelchair and it’s hard to judge me pain, how far I can walk etc. But she said there is something I can do to help that part, which is to measure my step and then count how many steps I can take before I am in pain and or have to stop and do that for say 3 different days in a week and then she can do the maths and work out an average of how far I can walk and hopefully that will be enough to help with that part of the claim.

At one point we were talking about who cares for me, e.g a social worker..etc and I said no one and that’s not because I don’t want/need that kind of support but because it’s simply not available. I had a social worker, she saw me once and that was only to get my stool for my kitchen stool and shower stool. All the services are over stretched and have no time for people like me who appear to be capable or whatever. But I have to deal with my life by myself because I have no other choice, it’s such a catch 22 situation. It just highlights to me that I do have a lot of needs that are being met because I put an extraordinary amount of energy into every aspect of my life. But I do wish I had a social worker or whoever to help me with appointments, or sorting medications or just to talk too. I know that this kind of support would be invaluable for me, it’s just simply not available and people like me are slipping through the net and aren’t getting what they need and it’s so so sad to thing there are others like me suffering because of the lack of services.

Appointments like this always bring up so much for me and makes me think about my illnesses and how much it effects my life and it doesn’t make me feel good. I hate this illness so much but I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone…I won’t go on too much as I don’t want it to effect my mood any more then it already has.

Anyway the lady left just before 2 pm and I had just about enough energy to let her out and then collapsed into bed, where I slept until 4 pm…yeah I wasn’t tired at all..and I’m totally fit for work! lol

My friend H popped over for a bit to kill some time before an appointment, so that was nice to catch up with her for a bit.

I managed to eat dinner tonight, I had rice and my beef stroganoff and I managed to eat the majority of it as well. So pleased I could eat properly and hopefully I will be able to continue to eat well again. Tomorrow I’m making sausage and bean casserole in the slow cooker 🙂 so looking forward to that.

Went to the chemist this evening to pick up some medications that I had ordered last week. But my meds weren’t ready, usually when this happens it really annoys me because it’s either a cock up caused by the chemist or the doctors. Today however was different because no one has messed anything up, so the lady explained that my doctors surgery had said that they had taken me off their system and are in the process of putting my details back onto the system. The lady was a bit confused as to why they were doing it and why I was pretty much bouncing up and down lol! This means they are FINALLY changing my title and my gender and I will get a new NHS number, it’s only taken them nearly a year to sort this out. But that’s irrelevant now as it’s being done.

I cannot express how happy this has made me, even though its a pretty minor detail in the grand scheme of things. But because I am in a sort of limbo while I’m waiting to be seen at the gender clinic and I’ve had to fight for this as well, so it feels like a small victory! So yeah I am a very happy boy right now 🙂

How do I feel right now? I feel tired, I feel happy and I feel relived as well. I just hope everything with my benefits goes in my favour and it doesn’t take too long.

 I woke up to this after my nap ❤ aw they are so cute ❤ Miss Marley moo and Foxy girl.

Right I gotta get myself ready for bed, I need my beauty sleep lol.

Peace out

Batman

Living my life to accommodate an illness I hate

I don’t know even where to start 1 because I am SO tired and 2 because I have scrappy doodles staring at me, which is kinda off putting. He wants to play but I’ve already played fetch since I got home earlier, he’s so damn cute it’s distracting lol!

Anyway since my last post I don’t feel much better but well enough to go out and see people. I hate being stuck in, I get so bored and when I get bored it really effects my mood and makes me feel low.

Friday I was getting extremely bored by around 3 pm, but I felt too tired and weak to go out and do anything. Sometimes when I feel tired I just don’t know what to do with myself and I find it hard to settle down to do anything at all. But I eventually decided on making cheese biscuits, it’s time consuming but has a tasty result. I enjoy it as well, I’ve always loved baking and cooking since I was small.

After I had made my cheese biscuits I then felt much more settled in myself, I was still really tired but less restless I suppose you can say. I then was able to sit down and play Lego Dimensions and I played for hours. I love this game so so much! Cannot get enough of it. I get totally sucked into the game and lose track of everything, it’s such a great distraction and I played all evening. Such a rock and roll Friday night lol!

Saturday was good, L and the boys came over, although it wasn’t such a happy start as Harvey has been extremely naughty! So I had to have words again and boo licked and cheese biscuit and put it back and when I said that was dirty he kicked off at me, so they both went in a naughty spot! Lil sods. But eventually after they had calmed down and done their time outs we went to a kiddies play area.

It was great as this time Albert is older and big enough to do everything by himself, without having to follow him around and help him. So we just relaxed and chatted for most of the time, but to start with I did go in with boo and show him around, he soon went off and played on his own though…well until he came back for a drink and a person walked past in a Lemur costume and he said its a scary bear, he was so nervous and wouldn’t go back in until it had gone. It was so flipping cute though.

Man was it loud in there! Especially as it was a Saturday and there were about 4-5 parties going on as well. It was a bit of sensory overload for me and was a relief when I got out. I find it hard to concentrate and process things properly when I am in a situation where its loud, bright, colourful etc. I was ok but as I wasn’t feeling 100% it almost exaggerates it.

After we all came back to mine, so the boys could have their dinner before heading home. When they left I fell asleep on the sofa for about an hour but I so so needed it.

I tired to eat my child portion microwave meal but I couldn’t eat it all, I’ll come back to the subject of appetite soon. I still felt exhausted, achy and a bit under the weather. So I took the pups for a wee and then got us all snuggled up in bed and I watched the film Legend, which I cannot get enough of. It’s so good and they got paranoid schizophrenic spot on! A must watch.

Woke up feeling a bit better this morning, had a bit of breakfast and just chilled out. Got showered and dressed and took the pups out for a wee. When I got in I had some time to kill before going out to my friends, so I went for a nap for a hour. I definitely needed it, I just can’t get enough sleep right now.

I got myself on the train to my friends house, even though I’ve done this trip before, I felt so anxious. I just don’t like trains, they make me feel trapped and I am always worried about getting lost. This is going down in my Mindout Positive me journal as something that made me proud today 🙂

Had a good afternoon for Ravenoaks birthday, chilled out and chatted with everyone. Had some party food and even got cake!

Got dropped back to the train station and had to wait a bit for the train but that was ok, I’d rather be early then just on time.

The pups went insane when I walked through the door, scrappy cried and both were jumping all over me. Spent some time fussing over them and playing with them for a bit.

I did want to have a nap when I got in but I had other bits to do before chilling out.

So yeah that’s what I’ve been up too since my last post, it’s been good fun. I have struggled to get through it though, not because of my mood as that’s been alright. It’s been because of being sick on Wednesday and I’ve since struggled with my appetite…again.

Its so frustrating, just as I was back on track and eating properly, I get a set back. Some of it is because I am worried about being sick again and some of it is because my stomach is still a bit tender and I feel sick because I’m not eating properly and because I’m not eating properly I am just even more exhausted then I usually am, its such a vicious circle.

I find it so hard just to stop over thinking it and EAT! I have such a awful relationship with food anyway, which goes back to childhood and being forced to eat dinner even though I didn’t like it or wasn’t hungry. I’m not a foody person with a big appetite.

I know this will pass in time, its just such an annoying set back after all the hard work I put into eating better and properly. Its just like I have to work hard to do anything in my life, even simple things like eating. I can’t just eat, or I can’t just do anything without planning, or pacing myself, or whatever.

I just wish things were a bit simpler for me and I wish I didn’t have to live my life accommodating an illness that I just despise having. Having Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis not only causes me all the physical symptoms that I have but it also causes me so much emotional distress. It makes me angry, frustrated, down, depressed..etc but I get no emotional support for it. I got diagnosed at the age of 15 years old with this massive life changing condition and I got no help and I still don’t really and that in itself makes me really angry. Justifiably so as well because as I said I have to basically have to live my life around an illness that I do not want and hasn’t improved since my diagnosis.

Anyway I have eaten more today then I have since Wednesday, which is good and hopefully this will kick start my appetite back up again, as I certainly need a bit more energy.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow afternoon, as someone is coming over from Diverse abilities to help me start my appeal for PIP, I just know its going to be so stressful and I just want it over with already. I know I can sort this and I will sort this because I am entitled to this money, I’m not a faker. I’m just emotionally, physically and mentally utterly exhausted and this is yet another battle to fight. It’s a pretty unnecessary fight as well because of our government, they are making it impossible for anyone to claim disability benefits, as they simply don’t want anyone on benefits…We won’t go down this road too far or I will just wind myself up even more.

Before this woman comes over, I have to do the housework as right now its a complete pit lol! and hasn’t been cleaned since Thursday. I feel extremely stressed already about tomorrow, definitely lots of mindfulness and relaxation is needed to get through and after I will have to do something nice to de-stress, like take the dogs out or play on the ps3 or have a sleep lol!

Going to wrap this up now as I’m tired and want to get to bed.

So how do I feel right now? I’m emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. I’m feeling stressed about tomorrow but I know I will get it sorted and win my case. But I do feel ok and that’s ok.

Peace out

Batman