Wednesday, June 26, 2019

TransCisTer Radio - My Podcast!

I don't remember when my friend Dana first mentioned to me the idea of she and I doing a podcast,  though I do know what my response was, sure!  I didn't really know a whole lot about podcasts, as I don't generally listen to many of them.  I understood the basics, it is like a radio show, and I have listened to plenty of talk radio in the past.  What I didn't know, was, how exactly does one produce a podcast.  No matter though, I so appreciate my friend Dana, and I'm always trying to find new ways to help educate the populace, thus the idea of one day, putting on a podcast appealed to me. 

My friend Dana is an awesome human.  I met her at my somewhat local LGBT+ resource center in Visalia, called The Source.  Dana runs the transgender support group at The Source.  She is a fabulous human who wanted to help bring some resources and support to the trans community of the Central Valley of California.  It became very apparent to her about the lack of transgender assistance in our area when it was obvious that her oldest child is transgender.  Life certainly changed when he transitioned at around fourteen or fifteen.  Yeah, as I said, she is an awesome human being! 

I certainly admire her, and thus I felt super honored when she asked me to do the podcast with her.  The one thing we both knew would be an issue, is when exactly are we going to find the time in our crazy lives to add in one more thing to do.  We were both super interested in doing this, but the reality of our lives is that they are truly super busy!  Both of us have full time jobs and then we tend to pile other various bits and pieces on top of it.  But I don't really think that to my loyal blogging community members I need to explain just how busy my life is.  You may notice from my super slow amount of blogging that I already have too much going on to possibly add anything else.  And you may possibly be right. 

Be that as it may, I am not going to let a little thing like not having enough time, dictate whether or not I am going to try and do a bit more for the transgender community.  The older I am becoming, and the longer I go into AT (after transition, as opposed to BT) the more I am understanding that I am an educator.  I've always understood that I have had a job as a teacher, but I have not always understood my relevance in the world as an educator.  Recently I have been able to have several opportunities to try and help educate about the transgender community, and possibly reach cis-gender humans!  That is faboo!  I mean, I love having so many readers from the trans community, it is truly quite lovely!  However, the trans community is super small, last estimate I heard was about 0.6% of the population.  Being so tiny, if we want to have equal rights, we need to have allies!  So, yeah, when I am presented with another opportunity to try and help educate about my favorite topic, then of course I will go for it! 

Eventually Dana and I did find some time to record ourselves.  Of course we had no idea of what we were really doing.  We did have a computer, a microphone, recording software, lots to say, and some time with each other to just chat.  And chat we did.  We babbled on for about two hours!  Thankfully, with some help from the fabulous Brian Poth, also from The Source, we were able to create a few episodes out of our blather.  Dana recorded some bumpers, and picked out some music.  I learned how to do editing and mixing.  And hey, what do you know, the next thing is that she and I have our very own podcast! 

Welcome to TransCisTer Radio!  Do you like the word play within that?  Brian and Dana came up with the name and graphic to go along with our show title.  Personally, I love it! 

So..... with all of that being said, I would truly appreciate you going and checking out our show.  It is also available through:  Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes!  Wow, it feels so official!  We currently have four episodes up.  The first three are the first time Dana and I recorded ourselves.  Surprisingly it works as three separate episodes.  Episode four is the first one where we tried to follow a somewhat standard format, with actual timed segments!  Wow! 

Things are moving along with this podcasting thing, apparently.  What type of schedule are Dana and I going to attempt to keep with this??  That's funny.  Schedule?  Ha!  She and I?  Yeah, probably not going to happen.  Unless we get famous, then maybe we could stick to a standard schedule!  Haha. 

As with most things that I find myself doing, I want you to know just how vast my insecurities are about doing it.  I have about ten years of blogging behind me at this point, but when I first put up this blog, I was terrified!  Now though, not so much, even with the increase of blog readers I have.  With podcasting, what am I the most insecure about?  Uhhh..... my voice.  I feel the best I have ever felt about my voice.  I currently am gendered properly over the phone, and even when I am not putting Herculean efforts into my appearance.  So, how I feel about my voice, and the realities of my voice are two different things.   Apparently the realities of my voice is that in hearing it, others take it to be feminine.  But, when I hear it, it does not sound feminine enough.  Which is where pretty much all of my insecurities lie, in that I am just not female enough, in my opinion.  Which basically means, I am unjustly, a super hard-assed bitch to myself, as most women are.  Ha-ha, her.... point being, is that even though I am super insecure about it, I am still trying to put myself out there.

Alrighty then!

Love you!

Love yourselves! 

Love facing your insecurities!

Love educating!

Love you!

Seriously, are you sure you're taking the time to love yourself properly? 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Orchiectomy - Hello Pain!!

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.  On a level of 1 to 10, can you describe the pain you are in?  1 is no pain at all and a 10 is the worst pain you have ever felt.  Where would I describe this pain?  Oh, in the 9-10 range.  I don't really think I have ever felt any pain like this before.  However, when I was asked this question yesterday in the hospital, I said, oh I don't know maybe a 5 or 6.  Why did I say that?  Well, I read once that doctors always hear people say that they are experiencing a level 11.  Thus doctors become desensitized to patients thoughts on pain.  I figured that the uncontrollable crying that happened when they asked me to sit up and get off of the gurney was some pretty solid evidence of the amount of pain that I was in. 

But, hey, I'm clearly ahead of myself aren't I?  Uhh.... just a little.  Okay then, let's back up.  I first considered getting an orchi awhile back.  I'm not sure when it first occurred to me, but I do not what precipitated it.  That was difficulties in getting my spironolactone, spiro for short.  Spiro is used to prevent the body from using the testosterone it produces.  When you are assigned male at birth but are actually a woman, generally you get placed onto two medications when you begin hormone therapy.  Spiro to block the testosterone and estrogen to give you what you should be getting. 

Anywho..... I, like most US citizens, tend to use CVS pharmacies to get my prescriptions filled.  Several times over the last two years I have encountered difficulties in getting my scrip for spiro filled.  One particular time the pharmacy I use told me that they would be unable to fill my scrip; they informed me that they were out of that medication.  They offered me nothing and gave me no assistance in finding a place to fill the scrip.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a totally anti-transgender move by the pharmacy.  I kind of got a clue when I tried phoning several different locations and none of them would fill my scrip.  I finally just drove across town to a different CVS, and spoke with that pharmacist.  He said, that yeah, they were indeed out of that medication but there were at least 3 or 4 other manufacturers of that type of medication that they could easily use to fill that scrip.  I walked out 5 minutes later with the scrip in hand. 

The thing was though, I totally panicked when I was struggling to get my scrip filled.  It was around then that I realized what a horrible feeling it was that other people were now in charge of my body.  They had the power to determine whether or not I would be on testosterone or not.  That really pissed me off, horribly so! 

It was around then as well that I started noticing the effects that spiro was having on my body.  Yes spiro stops the body from being able to utilize testosterone, but it also can increase the potassium in your body to dangerous levels, thus requiring frequent blood work to be examined.  It also lowers your blood pressure which increases the amount of being light headed and dizzy upon standing.  The other lovely thing is that it is a diuretic which means that I was constantly feeling dehydrated.  I would drink liquid all day but by the end of the day my skin was super dry and flaky and my lips were constantly peeling.  I would wake up every morning with such a super dry pasty mouth that it was painful. 

So, uh, yeah, there you go, oh and let's also throw in that the longer I am in therapy, the longer I am on hormone therapy, the more I am understanding my reality, I'm actually a girl.  And do you know what most girls don't have?  Testicles!  Yup, not so much!  Thus it was, I found a doctor who was willing to accept my cash, as my insurance will not cover such things.  Even though in the long run, it will save my insurance plan money.  How so?  They are paying for my spiro.  If I didn't get the orchi, I would be on spiro for the rest of my life, with my insurance paying for it for ever.  But if they would be willing to pay for the orchi, then no more spiro!  And yes it would have saved them money.  But no, they wouldn't pay. 

Okay, so whatevs..... I found a doctor in Philadelphia that I could afford and specializes in working with trans patients.  Thus it was I arrived in Philly earlier this week, and on Thursday I got my orchi.  The thing that shocked me the most was how much pain I was in when I woke from surgery.  I was not anticipating that.  I thought that I would be numb, but nope, I wasn't.  I was in pain.  And that sucked.  I spent the next hour or so crying trying to come to grips with the amount of discomfort I was in.  I got some food in me, and some soda, and some percocet.  That made it so I didn't care so much about the pain, but I still felt it. 

My doctor had picked me up in the morning, and took my wife and I to the hospital.  Once I was able, he drove us back to the hotel, and that is where I have been since.  I know that I will make it through this, and that it is the best thing for me, but for now, it just plain sucks.  I wish I was home.  I wish I could have had this procedure done at my local hospital and that right now I was recovering at my house, with my own things, and able to stay in my own bed.  Easily half of my discomfort right now is that I am staying in a hotel.  That sucks. 

This is but one of the dehumanizing things some of us trans people have to endure to be able to be who we are.  Kinda sucks.  Kinda really sucks actually.  Well for right now it does at least.  I know I will make it through, and I know I will be happier.  I just wish it was right now.

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Don't love pain so much.