Posted on March 4th 2003, 5:17 am
Wow, my life is busy. I never have any free time. I'm working three jobs. When you combine that with class, therapy, homework, and voice training, I'm just swamped. I'm lucky I get time to sleep and eat. Anyways, on to the actual content of my last two weeks.
The speech I gave in the women's studies class went so wonderful. I spoke for 40 minutes and took some questions after that. People were blown away by my openness. It was received well. Thankfully, I have a sense of humor that at least some people in the class appreciated. I was able to keep them interested. They seemed to be really impressed with my voice. I switched freely back and forth between my female voice and male voice. It was a really disorienting experience for them apparently. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to educate those 50 students on transgender and my life. I'd do it again if I could.
A few of us went out to eat afterwards. We went to this small pizza place. It was good, but I know I got some strange looks. Not to be stereotypical, but generally I feel uncomfortable around guys in cowboy boots and flannel shirts. I'm glad I was there with a group. The people from the class were great though. We had a good time. Again, I wish I could do it again.
After the food, I drove some of the people home. Then, the professor of the class, who just happens to be a former professor and good friend of mine, invited me into her home to chat some more. I got to meet her husband and her cat. I felt so honored being invited in like that. We all talked about the comings and goings of campus. We also discussed the future and possibilities for me to educate more on campus. I'm very excited about that. These coming years will be fun.
Since then, more of my facial hair has fallen out. I'm pretty sure all the dead hair is shedded by now. There are a few patches of hair left behind. It makes for an interesting design. Thankfully, in two more weeks, I get my next treatment. Then the shedding begins again. At the end of that one though, things should be even better. I've been frequently taking photos of my face. I'll be posting a laser hair removal diary sometime soon. It'll be whenever I get this site redesigned. I'm working on a bunch of stuff for it right now.
I've been taking an HTML class, and they've been teaching me all the wonders of Macromedia's Dreamweaver. I'm hoping to get my own copy of that soon. The site, though looks ok now, will probably look a lot better soon. There is also a possibility of maybe doing a web documentary series of my transition. I have to consult the people at the campus cable TV station where I work. If they'll allow me to use the cameras for some short clips, it's a go. I hope that works out too. There is a lot I want to show. If they wont though, I'll try to get a different camera to do the job. I think that may turn out really great if I can get it to work out.
On another exciting note, my hormone approval date is Thursday of this week. Everyone keep your fingers crossed. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, because it seems any time I do that, I get let down. I figure this way, if I get approved, it'll be a pleasant surprise. Or maybe I'm just kidding myself. I'll probably be just as upset if I get denied anyway. Well, we'll find out in a few days. I will definitely write something saying yea or nay.
Some sad things have happened in my life too though. My grandma is currently in kidney dialysis due to polycystic kidney disease. She was found in her home in a deep sleep. They determined that her carotid artery was pretty much completely blocked. They had planned to do a procedure to clean it out. Before they did that, they did an angioplasty. Through that, they determined that her artery was indeed 95% clogged. Unfortunately, they also knocked loose a piece of material. It caused a massive stroke. My grandma had paralysis to the left side of her body. Even her vision was affected, though that is recovering. That's sad, but not the worst. The worst part is that they can no longer do the procedure to clear out her artery. That means she's a ticking time bomb. She doesn't have much left. So, yeah. It's sad. I'm not mourning her yet though. She's still here, and hopefully for some time yet.
I wish I could leave you on a happy note, but I guess not this time. I'll write soon.
Posted on February 21st 2003, 5:18 am
Wow, a lot has happened to me in the past ten days. Maybe I should stop writing that at the beginning of every diary entry since it happens every time. Anyway, I was asked to speak at a Women's studies class. Today is actually the day I get to speak. I'm really excited about it. I am working with a few other girls on this presentation. We met on Sunday night to talk about it. We ended up talking for two hours straight. It was a really good time.
Valentine's day was nothing special for me though. The only exciting thing that happened was that a friend of mine bought me a flower. She is such a wonderful person. That's the first flower anyone has ever given me. I was never really that into flowers, but her giving me that really made me happy. I hadn't been expecting to react the way I did. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. Aside from that though, I just spent the day at work. I've never really had a great Valentine's day. Who cares though. It's only a Hallmark holiday.
Over the weekend I discovered some very important information about my career choice. In looking at the technical college homepage, I discovered that if I transfer schools and get an associates degree in visual communications, like I had wanted to, I'll start off with a salary of a whopping $13,000 per year. I can make that much money working at McDonald's full time. So, I have taken a look at not necessarily giving up on the visual communications, but getting higher profile degrees that would allow me to do the same sort of thing, but with higher pay. Right now I'm strongly considering a Computer Science major with a Mass Communications minor. I think that would do me well. On top of that, the school I currently go to has a good name for Comp Sci. So, I could stay here instead of move. That would be a good thing overall it seems. So that's the working plan for now.
I have a big hormone update. The day for getting hormones has moved up. It was March 20th. Now it's March 6th. That's two weeks from today. I'm so excited. Of course, that's if I get approved by the gestapo committee. It looks promising, but I don't want to get my hopes too high. It seems that every time I get my hopes up, I get let down. Story of my life, I guess.
On another happy note though, my facial hair is finally falling out. After two weeks of waiting, it's looking a lot better. I've been taking pictures along the way here, but I am going to hold off on posting them. I'm going to be redesigning the site over the next couple months, and I'll add it then. I'm sure you'll notice what it happens.
Oh, and one last thing....I'm 22 now. My birthday was two days ago. It wasn't too bad, except I had class until 8:45 at night. What did I do for my birthday you ask...well, I did the dishes. :)
Posted on February 11th 2003, 5:19 am
OK, so much has happened since the last time I wrote an entry. I am such a busy girl lately. School is keeping me very occupied. I have a second job now too. I got hired at the campus cable TV station. It's pretty cool. I helped work on a show called "Untitled" the other day. It was fun. I ran the audio. Aside from that, I really don't have anything exciting to talk about in regards to the job.
The major thing that happened took place last Wednesday, February 5th. It was my first time getting laser hair reduction. I had a friend drive me, because I was going to be drugged up pretty bad. They gave me valium and percucet to take simultaneously. When I got there, we took some preliminary pictures. And after the drugs set in, we got started. It took about an hour. The technician went over my face and neck very thoroughly. Even with high powered pain meds like that though, it hurt more than anything I've ever experienced. Hopefully, the pain will have been worth it.
Right now, it doesn't feel as if it's worth it though. It's been five days and the dead hair hasn't completely shedded yet. The laser kills off the hair follicle, vaporizes some of the hair, but leaves a remnant behind. That remnant has to get pushed out by the follicle. So it seems as if I have facial hair still. It takes about 1 to 3 weeks to shed it all. The problem though, is that the dead and damaged hair is darker than regular hair. That makes it harder to cover up. Due to that, it was more visible this weekend at work. On Sunday, I got called a faggot by some stupid high school kids. This hair really needs to fall out soon.
On a few happy notes though, I finally got the confidence to use my female voice in public. This confidence came from one of my newest friends. Her name is Brooke. She is a future Transsexual who just happens to be my age and lives close. We met online and decided to meet and chat. Well, she had only heard my female voice, so I was challenged to then use it exclusively when I met her. Since then, I've been using it a lot. I even used it at work. I was so proud. People seem to like it too. Even my voice therapist said it was good. That made me happy.
Another happy note, I talked to my therapist. He says that he thinks I have a really good chance of getting approved for hormones. I'm really excited about that. We also discussed a few things regarding future plans. He's only going to be around for another year. So our goal is to get me approved for SRS by March of next year. That doesn't mean that I'll actually get the surgery then, but at least I'll be able to if I want to. And I do want to. In fact, I plan on getting it in the summer of 2004. That would be best for me. I'm going to miss seeing him when he leaves. I like him as a therapist. Too bad the place he works for sucks.
Anyway, that's pretty much my life right now. I did just open the online store. So, check that out, even though there isn't much of a selection yet. Oh, and if you have suggestions, e-mail them to me. I have a new e-mail address too. It's so cool. Jessica@translife.net Alright, I'll write soon. Bye everyone.
Posted on January 25th 2003, 5:19 am
I know I've been keeping everyone in suspense with what has been happening in my life since my last post. So much has happened since, that I figured it'd be a lot easier to save it and write one really long entry. So, here goes.
My family went to see my therapist on January 10th. It went well. My mom cried right away, but both my parents were very supportive. They have truly amazed me with their love and support. Then we got to my little sister. Here's where I finally learned what my sister thinks of all this. She thinks I'm a completely different person than I was before. She also thinks we now have nothing in common anymore. We used to be close. My parents tried to show her that I'm no different than before. Nothing about my personality has changed, but she didn't really hear it. I think what it actually is that's bothering her is that she's in a form of denial. She wants me to be a different person. That way she can hate me. I also think part of it is that she isn't getting her way. She's the youngest in the family and is also spoiled. This isn't what she wants and she's making that clear. She's young and I think she just needs time. Once she's out of high school and into college, she'll grow up a little.
Anyway, we then moved on to my Uncle, who really just chimed in whenever he felt like it. He was very supportive and had some really good stuff to say, but he can be repetitive. That's something I think that a few of my uncles have. When he got done, my older sister got to talk. She pretty much said that I'm still the same goofy person she always knew and that she'll love me and support me the whole way. Her boyfriend was there to be supportive too. We did a very clichéd group hug at the end. All in all, it turned out well.
That night we ate at my Uncle's place, then we stayed in a hotel. We all went to bed at Midnight. I couldn't sleep for the first hour. After that, my dad started snoring. At 3:15 in the morning, I had enough. I left the room and sat in the lobby. At 4:00 I was so exhausted that I went back to the room and passed out on the bed. At 9:00 I had to get up. We drove back home. My sister missed an exit and got all confused when we got closer to home. We figured out how to get back on track and finally got home. When we all got there, a big fight ensued as to what happened. It was bad. Then, once we were all in terrible moods, we all went out to eat as a family. That day was not nearly as good as the previous one.
Tuesday that week was the next road trip. This time my friends all piled into the van and we all drove up to my therapist. It was a long day, but a lot of fun. My friends are the most wonderful friends on earth. I drove the whole way, which ended up being about ten hours on the road. Thankfully I didn't really get that tired during the trip. While we were at the therapist, I think we were starting to annoy him a bit. We were all joking around and laughing too much. We were really trying to stay focused though. I think it was fine. I wish I had more time like that with my friends. One thing I did notice, and I have made a point of it before. This time though, it was very obvious. My friends that have known me longer are much more reluctant about this whole thing than my friends who've known me less. That makes tons of sense though. Either way, they're all still supportive and loving.
Thursday of that week I saw the kidney specialist, or nephrologist. We discussed the possibility of taking hormones with a polycystic kidney disease diagnosis. The risk involved with taking hormones is that they could cause the cysts to enlarge. That's not a good thing obviously. So, I asked him about the multiple methods of taking hormones. I had thought that transdermal estrogen would be the best route due to the lack of processing by the liver. He told me that even though it does bypass the liver processing, the hormone is still present in the system to cause an enlargement of the cysts. So it wouldn't really matter what form I took it in. However, he told me that as long as we keep a close watch on my health, it should be ok. That made me very happy to hear.
That weekend I packed my stuff up to head back to school. The only thing I did before I left was catch my sister's band concert on Sunday night. I need all the points I can get with her. Monday I headed back up to school. Classes started on Tuesday, and that's when I got sick. I caught the stomach flu. I made it through half of my classes on the first day of school. What an impression to make on my professors. I missed Wednesday's classes too. Finally on Thursday I felt ok enough to go to class. I was also finally starting to eat again.
Thursday evening I went to see the endocrinologist again. She unfortunately hadn't received the information from the nephrologist yet. So, it was really a wasted trip. The only news she was really able to tell me is that when she does start me on hormones, it'll be transdermal. The other thing she told me was that it would be risky for me to stay on high dose estrogen for too long. So no matter what I'll have to get a surgery done, be it SRS or orchiectomy. I'd prefer SRS. That's the only thing I got out of the trip that was positive.
I left the place very frustrated though. For the first time I started to think about how that place was actually helping me. I discovered that they are actually adding more emotional tension to my life by making me jump through so many hoops to get hormones. I have already satisfied the requirements for the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. It just makes me angry that they can still tell me no. Hopefully they wont say no. I really don't see any reason for them to deny me. I'll keep you all posted on what happens. Until my next novel of a diary entry....
Posted on January 10th 2003, 5:20 am
The worst has happened. The results came back from the ultrasound. I test positive for polycystic kidney disease. As the name implies, I have many cysts throughout my kidneys. The biggest one according to the doctor is about a centimeter in diameter. I found out a week ago. I got a call in the morning. When I heard the doctor I knew right away why she was calling. She told me she'd only call if I tested positive. I cried.
My sister saw me crying and asked me what my problem was. I told her why and she said very coldly "What were you expecting? We probably all have it." I said "I probably can't take hormones now." She then stayed quiet. My sister is not the most compassionate person right now. She's very much into herself. Hopefully once her senior year of high school is over, she'll grow past this phase.
To make up for it, I went shopping. At the beginning of winter break my mom and I bagged up all my old male clothing to be given to good will. So, I needed a lot of clothes. I went with my best girlfriend. She took me to all of her favorite stores. We had a blast. I found some great stuff. She gave me this card too. It was a thank you card. She was thanking me for being there for her when she was having relationship troubles. It was so touching. She's such a wonderful person.
Last Friday night was one of my best friend's parties. It wasn't your normal "Dance and get drunk" party. It was a geek party also known as a LAN. I admit it. I'm a geek. The party was a lot of fun. I made sure to dress well to the party too. I wore my new pants and shoes. I really wigged out a couple people there too. That was fun. The party went all night, but I crashed at about 4:30 am. My shopping friend was there too. We all had a great time.
On Monday, I went out and visited some other friends. While we were waiting for one of them to get off of work, we went shopping yet again. With all the sales going on, I found some really great deals. It was great. Shopping is always fun. The only sucky part is finding cute clothes that are too low cut. I don't have a chest yet, so I don't wear anything that would show it off. I can't wait until next year at this time. I'll buy everything. Anyway, once the other friend got off of work, we hung out for the rest of the night. I taught them how to play Uno with cut-throat rules. It was fun.
Then, on Wednesday I hung out with yet another of my best friends. Guess what we did....we went shopping. This time, I hadn't planned on it. It worked out good though. We had fun. After shopping we came back to my house. One of our best friends died a few years ago in a car accident. Monday, January 6th would have been his 22nd birthday. We had a toast to him to remember him. I miss him. No one should die that young.
Thursday I made an appointment with a nephrologist (kidney specialist). My endocrinologist told me to go see one. I still have hope for hormones. I have to talk to this new doctor about my options. I am really thinking that if I were to use the patch form of estrogen, I'd be fine. I'm going to find out in a week. Even if it does harm me, my mom told me some really wise words the other night. I have to weigh quality of life versus quantity of life. Hormones may shorten my life, but if I'm happier in those years, it could very much be worth it.
Well, tomorrow is Friday and also the day my whole family goes to see my therapist. It's a five hour drive from my parents house to the clinic. I hope we don't fight the whole way. I found out that my Uncle is going to come with too and even possibly my sister's boyfriend of I don't know how many years. It should be a good thing. Wish me luck.