Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Dream Realized

Sometimes it seems like life comes in surges, like the tide.  I've had a dry few weeks lately, waiting for my endocrinology appointment.  But then its like something happened and  a swell of change, events and emotion suddenly came ashore with enough power to reshape the beach that is life.  Too much of a good thing? Not really.  I got dragged out to sea, but I found my way back to shore. 

As frequent readers know, I have been waiting for the fifth of June since April, when I scheduled my endocrinology appointment. And truly it has been a much longer wait. For I have dreamed of the  appointment many years before knowing the exact day.

I had a pretty simple plan. I have two friends with an apartment minutes away from the UK Clinic. I was going to leave work Thursday, then travel with them to the Richmond LExington area.  Then Friday the fifth I would have all morning to get dressed and primp for the appointment.  I didn't want them to take one look at me and decide I was making a mistake, so I wanted to really look my best.  After the appointment, I was to meet back up with my two friends and we were to head to Louisville. They had some business in that direction, and I was to be in a pageant.  But that, is the subject of another blog entirely! Ha!

So, Thursday morning finally came, I got my car packed and went to work. Then, I called my friends to confirm their plan and the tide started rising.  My Mom had decided something suspicious was afoot with all of us leaving town at the same time, and had called my aunt to tell her she felt her son and daughter in law were enabling me by traveling with me.  Apparently it was quite an emotional call and got my aunt stirred up. So she drove to my cousin's current place of employment and pulled him aside to basically insist that he and his wife not help me in any way whatsoever.

I was disappointed, and very scared. I kept thinking that something was going to happen before work ended and mom would try t find some way to stop me, or pull me into a confrontation somewhere.  But nothing happened. At the end of the day, I wrote a letter to mom and dad. It basically told them I was going to an endocrinologist, that I am sure I am a woman, that I will transition, that it is past time to debate, and that I will be back Sunday.  I appologized for not discussing it in person but explained that I just can't handle the fighting anymore, that I know what I need and I will do it.  I left the note at the house and began my drive.

Mom and I had some very emotional phone conversations along the way. She kept trying to employ guilt to turn me back. But I was so angry that she had tried to control me by forcing away my friends that I was past feeling sorry for the worry I cause. When guilt didn't work she changed tact and told me I was being controlled by the devil, at which point I hung up.

I was feeling pretty lonely and decided to call a few friends. Then things got much brighter. One of the calls I made was to Tina Jenson (yes, the lovely Tina Jenson of blogger fame :P).  I told her how things were going, and she decided to drive all the way up to Lexington to give me moral support through my interview!  Suddenly I wasn't alone and everything felt much better.  I ended up at a Super 8 near the clinic.  I called Mom and Dad to let them know I was okay. There was no more arguing.

In the morning Tina showed up at the Hotel as I was getting ready for the appointment. I showed her a few of the outfits I was considering for the appointment. In the end I settled on my favorite embellished stretch jeans and a cute little cap sleeve top with lace detailing.  I wore low heeled sandals along with it. The end effect was casual, unpretentious, low key casual.  

Eventually we found our way down to the clinic. Lexington is such a maze though. If I had been alone I would have been a nervous wreck.  Even once we found parking and got inside the clinic, find endocrinology was not easy.  Everyone there was very kind though, and soon I was in the waiting room with Tina, all the paperwork done, everything in order. It didn't feel real. I'd imagined finally seeing an endocrinologist all my life and now here I was. It was such a surreal feeling.  

They eventually called me back. The nurses were great and made me feel right at home. But I was still anxious about meeting the doctor herself. I have often been told that her predecessor, was very callouss and cold. In initial interviews with transgender patients, many clients he accepted thought right up until the end that he was going to turn them away.

The current doctor is not that way at all. She mostly asked me basic medical questions. Everything went smoothly and after a brief interview, she told me I could go to the lab and get my blood drawn, and that when the results were back, if everything looked okay I could pick up my prescriptions at my leisure!  The whole thing was very relaxed and she was very pleasant. 

I called the clinic today and it sounds like everything is in order. I am probably days away from starting on a newly prescribed hormone regimen, and I'll never have to send away over seas for meds again.

I never really got to relish the feeling though. After a lunch with chipotle I was back on the road. It was 2 hours back home, and a short night's rest, then back to work to set up for a high school graduation. Then about 2 it was time to hit the road again, this time for a 3 and a half hour drive to Louisville.  In the end I fit 11 hours of driving, an endocrinology appointment, a pageant, and lots of emotional fighting into a 3 day period. But when I got home, it was all worth it.

Mom and Dad didn't try to stop my second trip at all.  I think they are starting to see that I am not going to be stopped and that its best to just let me do what I must.  And they seem to be finding a level of acceptance. It has been a peaceful week at home so far.

I owe Tina so much thanks for being there for me. It would have been a hard weekend without her company. I'm missing my other friend's greatly but it can't be helped.  Sometimes we just all do what we have to do.  I worry that I have caused them a lot of trouble by using them for an alibi so often. I never dreamed Mom would turn around and make accusations like that to my aunt.  But from now on, everything I do will be out in the open.  I stood up to Mom and Dad and did what I needed to do, and our relationship is intact. I finally feel like we are communicating adult to adult, instead of Mom continually struggling for a way to control as though I were still a child.

The biggest victory is just finally getting to work with an endocrinologist though.  Its finally documented that I am transitioning. Its all legal and documented and I'm finally on my way. Feels wonderful!


chrissie said...

Hey, ms shandy.

Your mum isn't related to mine, is she?


chrissie said...

But well done, girl.... That took REAL courage.


Leslie Ann said...

*sniff* Our little girl is growing up... I'm glad you're taking charge of your life. Your parents will respect you much more.

Love ya!

ms.shandy said...

I think everything is going to work out. A little stressed today though. I'm almost out of medications and my prescription mailed 4 days ago still has not arrived. Grrrr!

ms.shandy said...

And yes Chrissie's are mothers are probably kin, if not genetically then certainly in some spiritual way. Your mom does sound a lot like mine. :P

Suzi said...

I agree with Leslie. Many people will push you to the limit...just to find out what that limit is. The sooner you push back...respectfully...the sooner they will learn that they no longer hold your reins. They will have to accept that you will be taking control of your life from now on. Good luck're really on your way now. :)Suzi

Tina Jenson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.