Thursday, June 22, 2017
Ha! Plenty of time! When in my life have I actually had plenty of time? Oh that's right, that is what childhood is for!
Okay, so quick recap of my therapy - Tuesday was the first time I went to a gender therapist in person. Oh course, wouldn't you know it, I got lost in trying to find her office! Ugh!! It drove me bonkers! Thanks city of Fresno for your gloriously awful street signs! Thanks GPS for your dorkery! And thank me for swearing off paper maps! Ha, paper maps, how crazy. Who uses paper maps anymore?
Oh right, quick recap, okay so I went to therapy on Tuesday, yes I was late, but she had no patients after me and actually met with me for an hour and forty five minutes! My appointment was supposed to be 1.5 hours and I was a half an hour late. So this lady was frickin awesome to put that much time into me! Thank you!
Oh and what did I wear you ask? Well I went in a non-conforming manner. I was dressed in all female clothes, but no makeup and no hair. So in that manner I think I am taken as basically male, but super non-conforming!
Quick, right? Who me? Alrighty so I set my dial to Talk and the other to My Gender and I babbled away for pretty much the entire time! It was over too quickly, boo! But she asked when I could come in again, and I said um.... tomorrow! Well she did have an appointment for Thursday, which happens to be today.
So here I sit at about 6 in the morning, trying to finish up my survey before this afternoons appointment and what am I doing, blogging like a fool of course!
Okay. Gotta run! I've got things to do!
I'm trying REAL hard I tell you what!
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Can't you see my bikini? No, I guess you can't. Though Jules did tell me that it was quite visible underneath my sun blocking shirt. Maybe it had to be in the sun. Hmm...
What you are looking at is the super nice trout that I caught while camping on the Kern River this past week. Isn't it beautiful? It was a super fun fish to catch that I was super surprised about. The river is running really high this year due to all of the snow we received this year. It is possibly the highest I have ever seen it. We still tried to fish it and were not having much luck. But obviously I happened upon the right spot at the right time with the right bait. Yay for me! It was the only fish that either of us caught on this trip.
I did wear a bikini every day on this trip. But I also wore this awesome sun blocking top pretty much always as well, so it was kind of on the edge of things. Clearly I was not wearing male board shorts. And I had obvious breasts, and a bikini on, so I wasn't flaunting anything in anyone's faces, but I was also not hiding myself and conforming to typical behavior either. I was kind of doing me!
There were times that I did just have on only my bikini and was walking around public spaces. That is not anything new to me. I have done that before, this time though I had on the top as well, with some sort of something giving me something to fill up the tops as well. Nothing huge, but obvious enough.
Jules and I walked the dogs. Hung out at the camp site, playing cards, watching the flowing river. Went fishing several times near our camp and at various spots on the side of the road. We went into several different small country stores, getting food or ice, or worms. Again, I just kind of did me. Nothing exciting happened, except for catching the awesome fish, and having a great time relaxing in a super kick back place.
By the way, I absolutely love this sun blocking top. It worked so well. Jules did not have one and she ended up kind of red at the end of the day while I looked fine. It was also super hot where we were and several times I got the short wet in the river and it kept me cool for hours beyond that as it slowly dried. It really is a great short, perfect for what I bought it for. It is cool, lightweight, and kept the sun off of me nicely!
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Here is Obi Wan and Luke. Luke has the habit of standing on his hind legs; so cute!!
Isn't Luke super cute!!
Oh, I finally got a shot of Puddin's cute belly! He looks like his is mostly black from his back, but you can see now that he has all sorts of white on his belly!
Here is our giant, Gordo, looking huge!
Obi-Wan sittin in the sun.
Another super cute one of Gordo!
Obi-Wan sitting in the sun still.
And lastly, Gordo attacking Ob-Wan!
Oh we finally found out what genitals that they all have. Let's see, we have two penises and two vaginas, Ha! I'm hilarious! Obi-Wan and Puddin are both penis holders and Luke and Gordo have vaginas. I think that is right. Actually I have not paid very close attention to the whole what genitals do they have thing!
Hope you all are lovely!
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Disclaimer - I am about to discuss some issue that some may find inappropriate, and I certainly see as pretty personal. But I have received some questions, so I thought maybe you might want some answers!
A couple of people have expressed concern that I appear more concerned about transition related medication than I do the health of my prostate. Can I take a moment to clear up that misconception?
Here is the full story, okay? For years I have noticed a changed in my prostate, I could tell that it was getting bigger. It didn't really bother me, I could feel that it was bigger - as in if you're born with a prostate you need to learn to check it yourself. Yup, that's what I'm talking about. Anywho.... I could tell it was getting bigger. The singular other issue was dripping. Often when I would use the restroom, and finish, and put things away, a little bit more would dribble out and wet my underwear and pants.
So uh, yeah, there you go.
I went to my regular GP and got a referral to a urologist. He performed just about every test there is to give. Some were not bothersome and some were quite so. After each and every one of them, his response was "well I found nothing wrong." So.... after months of tests, he came to the expert conclusion of - I have a prostate that is large for my age, as evidenced by my complaints of dripping, and pretty much nothing else. Oh and if you don't know - I am 45.
His conclusion was for me to take Tamsulosin. For your info - Tamsulosin relaxes the bladder/urethra sphincters and allows one to urinate more easily. I told him that I do not have problems with urinating, I just dribble a bit much and find it annoying. He said, yeah well, whatever, take this drug. I took the drug. And I pissed like a race horse! But what do you suppose happened when I put myself away? Uh, yeah that would be dribbles in my underwear.
I took his advice and found it was quite bothersome, as tamsulosin causes other things, like retrograde ejaculation. This was the single most noticeable change within me, and something that bothered me a great deal. It decreased my sexual satisfaction enormously and I found that I was no longer even interested in having sex. Hmm... so it didn't stop the dribbling, caused me to pee way more than I ever used to, and it caused me to not enjoy sex to the point that I didn't even feel like having it anymore. Oh yeah, what a pleasure, what a joy, this is what the entire rest of my life was going to be.
I saw my GP during this time and asked about going onto Finasteride, instead of Tamsulosin. She informed me, after looking at her phone, that it has a side effect of giving men breasts. I told her that being as I am transgender I would not mind that. She told me, no, that it was in my best interest to keep taking the medication that the urologist told me to. I explained the side effects and the lack of addressing my concern. She didn't care. She told me that I needed to keep doing it.
About a month later I saw my urologist again. I inquired about Finasteride. I explained that I heard it could shrink the prostate, could possibly help to regrow hair from my balding head, and I did not mention that I have read that a small percent of humans get noticeable breast growth from it. He said, sure you want to take it, take it. Still take the Tamsulosin though. I explained the side effects. I explained that it did not address the issue I initially had. He said, yeah well, I want you to take it. I asked why, he said, he thought that would be the best course of action for my long term benefit.
I explained to him that the side effects were negatively impacting my life and I could not possibly see myself taking this medication for the rest of my life. I mean, that to me is huge! Hugely huge. I mean gigantically huge! I have to take a medication that I don't think helps me in the least and makes it so that I don't like sex and I am expected to take it until the day that I die? Tamsulosin is the type of drug that does not affect you if you do not take it daily. He said, yeah well, that is the drug that I think works the best and so I want you to take it. I said, it does not solve the problem, he said, well your prostate is large, so take it.
Fuck me! So it doesn't address my problem, gives me new unwanted problems, and he wants me to take it because he likes it. Well then why the fuck doesn't he take it?
My prostate responded. I could tell that it was shrinking. My urinary flow did not change in the least, but I could feel that my prostate was getting smaller. But there was this new feeling as well. A feeling that I had not experienced before. Sure my sex drive was increasing, but something else was there as well. Like some sort of inner calming of my never to be shut up babbling brain.
So, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Things went on. Months passed. I kept feeling better and better. I was still dribbling after urinating, but I dealt with it. I took longer to finish. I used something to wipe with. I used the milking method. Things were going well; headed in a positive direction.
I went in to the urologist and explained that everything was going well. I like the finasteride and I stopped taking the tamsulosin months ago. He then said, good, good. It's all going well. And then he dropped the bomb - I want you to stop taking finasteride. Holy shit, did he just say that he wants me to stop? The fuck? Fuck that shit! He then explained that he has been reading studies that imply that finasteride might be linked to an increased rate of prostate cancer. He felt that while it has not been proven, there is enough evidence in his mind that he wants me off of it.
I seriously began to panic right then and there. By a half hour later I was crying and I knew that I was never taking the finasteride for my prostate. That I was only taking it for my gender variance. Seriously, while it shrunk my prostate, it did nothing about my initial concern, the dribbling. Nothing helped that. And in fact the doctor told me that nothing would solve that problem. It was in fact a result of having a penis, the size of my penis, the length of the urethra and the difference in distance between my bladder and the end of my urethra. Hmm, added side benefit to having a penis huh? Oh goody! Wet spots in my underwear after ever single urination! Oh joy!
It was this dawning realization that I wanted finasteride more for my gender variance than anything else, and the ensuing panic at realizing he was not going to prescribe this medication for me that made me finally pull my head out of my ass and understand that if I was going to take something to adjust my hormone levels, I need to get it above board, so to speak, and to actually seek out the medical professionals to help me do it properly.
No more fucking around. No more skirting the issue. Face it head on, with my boobs out, and my chin held high. This is who the fuck I am, who I have always been, and who I will always be.
So um yeah. Now where am I? I am working on getting an appointment with a WPATH therapist and it looks as though that will occur in July. As well, I, yes me, I have an appointment with an OB/GYN. Wow, that was a head trip. Calling an OB/GYN and setting up an appointment for me, yup me! She is this area's only trans doctor. I had to keep reminding myself that yes indeed, I, yes me, I can get an appointment at an OB/GYN. I'm still kind of in shock about that one. I keep thinking they are going to call me and cancel because they realized that I am fraud!
Yeah, long story huh? Did you actually read all of this thrilling stuff? My rambling attempt at explaining my path from wet spots in my underwear to potentially beginning HRT.
The condensed version - I realized that there really was never anything wrong with my prostate and I was just using it as an excuse to justify taking hormone modifying medication. And now I am going to pursue taking hormones the right way!
Monday, June 5, 2017
Well well well. It was what a couple of weeks ago when I explained why I was seeking out counseling for my gender variance? I think, hmm.... let's check. Yup here it is.
It took a bit of time but I got setup with someone who I thought was good. But things took a turn that I did not want it to. She wanted to work on CBT (look it up) for some inner critical voices. I let her know that I wanted to work on my initial issue, finding a doctor to help with my medications, and then I could work on my inner criticisms. Her response was to tell me to get an appointment with my General Practitioner.
Honestly that concerned the heck out of me. I've tried talking to my GP and it did not go well. That is partly why I was trying to find a counselor who could help me with this crap! So.... anywho here is an updated letter that I wrote to my current counselor.
I think I ripped her a bit much. C'est la vie.
Well let's see.... I have attempted contact with my GP, but my GP is not returning my phone call. What advice could you give me about how to receive appropriate medical care in my situation?
It is questions like this that prompted me to seek out transgender counseling in the first place. When I joined BetterHelp, it was due to the results I achieved via Google Search touting the benefits of BetterHelp and the counseling services provided specifically to transgender clients.
It is unfortunate that after leaving a detailed introduction, a survey that clearly indicated a lack of distress and problems in my life, that I was initially matched with a generic counselor. Fortunately that counselor recognized that I needed to see somebody with specific experience with someone who is considering hormone replacement therapy, the options that are available to medically assist me, as well as how to go about achieving that care in my geographic area.
I attempted again to write a statement that showed just what I felt I was in need of. At which point I was matched up with you. I read your bio and your initial messages and felt that it was at least worth a try to see if this could assist me with my concerns as stated.
While I do believe you to be an excellent generic counselor, who has an ability to hone in on areas of concern, I do not see you as an appropriate counselor for someone in my specific position. My specific needs require the expertise of somebody intimately familiar with transgender concerns.
Thus, while I did take your advice, I have not heard back from my GP regarding them even being willing to make an appointment to discuss with me the possibility of helping me find someone who can help me figure out what sorts of options I have. This is unfortunately all too common, and is a serious issue for transgender humans. Fortunately when Better Help and this counseling was proving to not provide me with me much assistance in this area, I found a regional transgender support group that I didn't even know existed.
Fortunately this newly formed local association (within the last year,) was able to provide me with the resources I need. Namely, some GPs who are familiar with transgender patients, some specialists who are familiar with hormone replacement therapy, oh and a WPATH counselor. True, these resources are about 75+ miles away from me, and about a 1-4 month wait to get in to see some of them, but it appears at this time to be the most appropriate option for me. My first reply from this transgender WPATH counselor proved to me, that even though I will need to wait to get in to see her, it will be well worth my time.
So to you, thank you for inadvertently clarifying for me how important it is for transgender clients to find specialists that are familiar with our needs. This will conclude my communications here. I would say that it is unfortunate that this was a $260 lesson for me. But such is life huh?
Best of luck to you in the future!
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Some of you may know that I am currently on a clothes shopping diet. This idea was born of wanting to offer my wife some sort of solidarity with her choice to be on a food diet. The idea, that I came up with, is that I would refrain from clothes shopping while she is food dieting.
For the most part things are going quite well. I am finding lots of good clothes combinations that I had not considered before. I am also finding that I have way too much clothing. Too much for me to ever be able to effectively wear during my limited outings as female. Which makes me really want to cry as I love some of my female clothes and I know that I will never get to wear them as much as I would like.
I have had about three cheats. Well maybe one or two are only a semi cheat. The semi cheat was that I bought new removable bra pads for my daily wearing bralettes. An actual cheat was that I was looking for a new pair of tennis shoes, which would have been a cheat for sure, but instead of tennis shoes I found a great pair of Fergalicious Wedges. I've seen them for at least a year or two and I found them in my size for 30 bucks! Um steal?? Yup, had to have them! My last cheat was a sun blocking top that I can wear while out and about under the sun. I've wanted one for quite some time and finally pulled the trigger. So there, that is my full disclosure list. My wife's list? Well you'd have to ask her about that, as that is her choice to divulge or not.
But, and it is a big but, I have discovered a serious flaw in my plan. What is it, you ask? I've been using clothes buying to help me balance out my gender variance. I had my suspicions, but after not shopping for about 5-6 months I can tell you that I am loosing my shit. Well admittedly there are other compounding issues as well.
Remember that I finally got the Finasteride prescription that I was hoping for? Well guess what, my urologist wants me to stop taking it. Oh goodie! I finally got it, and now he says he wants me to stop taking it. Apparently they suspect it increases the chance of getting prostate cancer. So he wants me to stop it entirely.
What was my response? To finally seek out counseling for my gender concerns. That is something I have never chosen to do. Why? Well, I personally think I am doing okay with handling my gender variance. As well, I am NOT interested in transitioning to a life as a woman. Maybe if my gender variance was fucking up my life somehow. Maybe if I was seeking GCS. Maybe then I would have been more on top of things.
Well, the counseling has been a struggle. Why? Ha! Even online I am struggling to find someone competent in transgender concerns. They said they have worked with the LGBT population. I'm finding that is nowhere near someone who understands TRANSGENDER concerns. So..... I'm struggling there.
Thus what is me recourse? Go back to my lovely GP and seek out a referral to a transgender competent endocrinologist. Just how exactly do you think that is going to turn out in the middle of rural California? I'm not real hopeful.
Thus I am really struggling today to keep my shit together.
It really shouldn't be this hard to find competent health care. I mean seriously, I have full coverage health care and fucking Planned Parenthood is looking like the best place for me to go. Not that it is a bad thing, but shouldn't that be reserved for the people who are actually struggling financially? That is not my position. My position is actually finding someone within my health care plans coverage. I will eventually get to the point to where I will end up just paying out of pocket for what I need, but I shouldn't have to.
I know what I need to do. I have to make an appointment at my GP, go in and figure out how to get the referral to an endocrinologist. Then figure out how to get it changed to one that actually understands transgender concerns. I will say again, I'm not real hopeful.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Tank - Guess - Similar
Sweater - 89th & Madison - Similar
I don't know how many of you are wig wearers like myself, but getting a new wig is so weird. Maybe, if you wear wigs, you have a different experience than myself. For the last few times that I have purchased a wig, I have gotten the same wig. The same style, the same color, everything. So I expect that my new hair will look just like my old hair. But it never turns out that way.
What does happen is that the new hair arrives and I excitedly try it on for the first time and it doesn't look like me. That is SO weird. I suppose though that it is the same thing as getting your hair cut, and maybe not expecting the actual results. I mean sure it is the same you, but because it looks different that it is hard to recognize yourself. That is what happens to me every time I get a new wig, even the same wig.
If I wasn't getting the same wig, then I would totally understand why I don't see myself, it's a new wig! Duh! But even with purchasing the same wig, no two wigs are exactly the same. Well, it is easier with straight hair, but with curly hair, each curl sits a little differently, especially around the face. I find as well that a wig changes with wear. Sure it gets a little worn, but that is often a good thing. With mine, they pick up a bit of oil, the cap stretches out a bit, the curls relax, it begins to feel like my own hair as it molds itself to me.
So anywho... yeah, my hair looks a bit different to me in these photos. So if it does to you as well, now you know why! Exciting, right
This outfit is a bit different for me. Did you notice I am wearing something other than black and white? Crazy! It was super tough finding anything that looked good to me with this skirt. I super love the skirt, but it was difficult finding a top that look right with it. I do like the blue, but it is generally not like me to wear just a tank top while out and about. I often did not have the sweater on, though I didn't get a picture without it. So uh yeah, there's that!
Hope you all are doing well!