Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pushing Past The Mist

Take one step at a time.
There's no need to rush.
It's like learning to fly,
or falling in love...

-Jordan Sparks

Anyone who has spent much time around me knows that planning isn't really my forte.  I have a hard time thinking beyond this week, and for the most part, anything farther ahead than that feels impossible to me, unless I'm in a really optimistic mood.

If I do take on something longer term, my plans tend to be very vague and misty.  And so it has always been with my transition.  It's hard for me to break it down into tasks, and the whole thing seems totally impossible.  It has been like a beacon shining in fog, with no way to discern the surrounding landscape.  At first it felt unreachable, but eventually I needed to get there bad enough to start taking little steps into the fog.  With each step I could see just a little farther down the path, and I've reached a point where I'm comfortable with the idea that even though I can't see exactly how to get where I am going, with each step I can see what to do next.

There is still a fear that eventually I'll hit a wall, or thicket or something. If so though, I'll at least be that much closer to where I need to be.  With enough determination I think you can find a way past any obstacle, and though planning is a weak point with me, determination is something I have.

Okay, so, beyond metaphors, what exactly am I trying to say?  When I started out, I didn't know what to do about work or family, I needed counseling, an endocrinologist, a referral, laser, electrolysis, and lots of time for hormones to work.  Then of course, the name change, document updates, the real life test, and of course, the GRS.  At first it was overwhelming but by focusing on one thing at a time, I've made a lot of progress.

The family situation has settled down.  My work situation seems stable so far.  I got a part of the counseling I need, the referral, the hormones, and have had enough time for hormones to make quite a lot of difference.  Also, the facial part of laser is going well. So far so good.  So where to next?

I'm going for more facial laser on the 30th, and I'm going to start asking about laser in a few other areas while continuing with TRIA in the places I use it currently.  On the 1st, back to counseling.  I've decided I want to get an orcheictomy now, because I'm not sure when I'l be able to afford GRS. My counselor is more familiar with the standards of care than me, so I'll be askign her how much red tape is involved.  In the mean time, I'll be researching the potential drawbacks of having an orchi well in advance of a GRS.

Also, I'll be asking her questions about the name change, and what is involved in changing the gender marker on my driver's license in Kentucky.  I know I'm quite a long way from being able to change the birth certificate, but I'm not sure what is involved with the license.

So hopefully if this goes well, I can start making progress toward an orchi, while the hormones and laser are still slowly working.  If I can schedule the orchi, then shortly afterward I intend to handle every name and gender marker I can legally change at this early point, and then come out at work.

I'm hoping it can all happen this year.  I have no idea what will happen at work, or how well things will go at home.  I may need a new place to live, or a new job or both shortly after.  But I will be on my real life test, and will not have to worry about testosterone ever again. From there, its a matter of figuring out how to take care of GRS.  The cost is daunting, and there are so many possible surgeons in so many places.

All that is still out there in the mist though.  Right now I'm just taking little steps, and handling each thing as it materializes.


caroline said...

I had an orchiectomy and it was the best thing I ever did! I managed it before getting hormones so got hot flushes but still it was worth it. The body hair reduced fairly quickly so hold back spending a fortune on other areas until you have decided. You will probably be told that there could be shrinkage of material needed for GRS but there are things you can do to keep things stretched!

I feared the side effects of long term anti-androgens so that is why I chose to do it, thought I may never manage to go further.

Caroline xxx

Anonymous T-Girl said...

A lot of (desirable) surgeons will not perform SRS on you if you have had an orchi done. Be advised.

It's why i haven't had it done.

ms.shandy said...

"Best thing I ever did." That is the second time I've been told that.

My reasons are much the same as yours. I'm not sure when or if I'll be able to afford my GRS, and I don't want to have to take spironolactone very long. I don't like the idea that my body is still producing testosterone and I'm just relying on something to partially block it. And all the weird stuff with keeping less sodium than normal, and more potassium, and having such a hard time staying hydrated, it just seems like it has to be a lot of work for the kidneys. Plus all these meds are rough on the liver anyway.

"...but there are things you can do to keep things stretched!" That is totally new to me, and sounds really promising. I guess I should start researching! This was the one thing that was worrying me.

I'm almost 100% sure I'm going to do this as soon as I possibly can and I'm so excited about it. I can hardly wait until April 1, when I get to talk to my counselor about it all.

Thanks so much for commenting. I'm more excited than ever. =)

ms.shandy said...

@Anonymous T-girl I didn't know that either. Seems there are lots of pros and cons I'm unaware of. Lots of reading to do. I'm pretty sure I'll go through with it, but maybe for now I should keep an open mind.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be handling it all really well to me.
Small chunks or babysteps is the same approach as me.

I guess I am pretty much at the same point and wondering what my next step will be.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...just trying to imagine scrotal clamps attached to a barbell or whatever.

Sounds like your determination will overcome whatever gets in the way...that's great. :)suzi

ms.shandy said...

@Lisa sometimes I feel disapointed with myself for not having a clearer pan, because I'm spontaneous and I just assume some people could plot out the specifics better.

Really when I think about it though, even if I wanted to plan everything will in advance there are just so many unknown variables with work and finance and location. So I guess this is the way it has to be for me.

Whatever path you choose from here, I hope it works out just fabulously for you. :)

@Suzi LOL! Hey, whatever it takes!