Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Visit, Progress, and McAfee

Its been such an eventful week.  I got to visit a couple of local friends and catch up, which was so nice.  Plus I've been in a dorky mood lately, and they were in the mood to play video games, and actually suggested one of my favorites that I had not had the chance to play in multiplayer for some time.  It was nice, and very nostalgic too.  

At work, things have been busy, but I've not felt to stressed.  McAfee released a bad dat file that destroyed svchost.exe on Windows XP Service Pack 3 computers.  We use Windows XP Service Pack 3 on most of our machines, and the state has mandated McaFee for every workstation, so the impact was severe in my office, with lots of sudden problems Wednesday.  The cleaning process is tedious. Several services stop working correctly, including networking.  So unless you have some solution to boot to something else to replace files, clean up is completely manual.  That is basically the situation with us.

So from Wednesday through Friday, i've been doing the "sneakernet" thing. You have to strap on some fast shoes and run from machine to machine replacing files.  A bit ago, that would have been terrifying.  In early transition, all the looks, all the comments,  all the wondering what the crowd around me was thinking was too much to handle.  I'd put off work that involved staying in a populated classroom more than a few moments out of fear.  Even just walking the hall, worrying what people were thinking and when someone was going to scream something derogatory, was draining and I'd always have to unwind in my office a moment after a trip.

Slowly I've adjusted to being a bit of a curiosity though and learned to accept it. M my stress level has dropped with that lesson and I've become more efficient.  Its a good thing too, because there was no time to unwind this week.  I've been on the run, but I've enjoyed it.  For the most part, I got nothing but respect, and I've felt calm and focused, with only occasional bouts of social anxiety during the process.  

Also I've got to say this has been a very eventful few weeks in terms of physical transition.  My whole body shape continues to change in subtly feminine ways, and I've had several spurts of breast growth.  It complicates my passing as male, but I'm past caring.  In light of recent evidence it seems I'm very nearly out anyway, and I'm proud of the changes in my body. 

I'm hoping they can tolerate me in this androgynous state just a little longer as I finish laser and get my orchiectomy.  Soon after I'll be announcing my intent, and no matter what their decision about keeping me, I'll be out, and finally free to be myself.  I just hope until then my transition keeps progressing, and they keep accepting me.   JUst so thankful for my progress.  Its all so amazing I can't think about it without smiling. :)


Sophie Jean said...

Keep up the good performance. That and a positive attitude will go a long way toward making your announcement successful.


NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

Good that your stress levels are low!
Sounds like you're doing great :-)

Hey, not my place to say, and I of course don't judge, but an Orchi? at your young age?
And the possibility of it limiting any future SRS?
As I say, I speak out of concern, not to intrude on your personal space.

Sending you kind thoughts!

ms.shandy said...

Honestly Nicki, I Just can't handle knowing that if I lost my job and ended up short on cash, that the only thing keeping me from having male testosterone levels is a med I probably wouldn't be able to afford anymore. It just terrifies me and I desperately need to do something permanent about it.

Maybe I'm being reckless. Just, when I think about going through RLT with that worry still there, it makes me want to preempt it and do something permanent about the testosterone problem now.

Of course RLT would just be a year. But then there's the matter of waiting around more while saving still for SRS. I just feel like I could be a lot more content to take care of this now, while I wait.

But I've not looked into what this does to my SRS possibilities in depth. I guess I'm afraid to find out. Lots of thinking and reading to do I suppose.

Thanks a lot for the input, and its not an intrusion at all. One reason I like blogging is because I can share so freely here. I love questions and I'm always open to advice. Especially on this particular topic, because I doubt I know as much as I should. LOL =) XX

@Sophie Thanks Sophie! I've not got to read your latest blog just yet, but I probably will tonight. I hope things are going splendidly following your work announcement. =)

Stace said...

I find good stress actually relieves bad stress - being very busy in the office is a good thing in that respect. I'd read about the MacAffee update, but I don't have any XP machines left at home so I've not seen it's impact.

Good luck on the research.


Marisa said...

Just following to Nicky's (and your response):

First, it has to be said that (relative to high estrogen dosage) anti-androgens have negligible feminizing effect. Certainly they'll retard further masculinizing effects--but if your much over 25 y.o. that advantage is pretty much "closing the barn door after the horse has fled" ;)

Further, orchi costs $$$. Unless your inclined to go the "some dude with rusty farm equipment" route call it $3000 (exclusive of travel, infection-suppressing meds, lost work-time, etc.)

Not saying that there aren't good reasons to get an orchi (never gonna get SRS plus horror of testicles, foremost among them). But a purely economic rationale doesn't hold up AT ALL.

Say you did lose your job. Unemployed with $3000+ extra in your pocket buys you a veeeeery long supply of anti-androgens.

For myself, I've never considered this procedure, but I can calculate the cost. YMMV, certainly. But given my drug costs (and the lost interest on making the big surgical purchase up front) it would be close to 15 years before the orchi would cost-justify!

Mind you, this is only because I have an "allergic" reaction to spironolactone. Were that not the case and I dosed 100mg daily between now and my 100th birthday, I'd still save money over getting an orchi yesterday. With enough left over to buy myself a modest present! Suggestions as to what I should buy would be appreciated! Despite the foresight that this scenario requires, I still haven't figured what a centanarian in the late 21st century would enjoy.

This my sound like hyperbole, but its straight economics. YMMV, as I said. But if it does its coz your paying above $1/day on anti-androgens. If that's the case, hit me pvt. for suggestions of cheaper alternative. Regards!

Sophie said...

I was wondering just what file McAfee was digesting. svchost certainly would cause some major problems!

And as far as the orchiectomy is concerned I would echo NickyB's and the other's thoughts on that. First off, even without insurance the generic HRT drugs are really cheap at places like Walmart and Target. I think everyone now has them for $4/month. And you should look into the problems down the road with going too long between an orchi and SRS, many surgeons indicate that it will create difficulty with having good tissue for grafts.

ms.shandy said...

I could take lessons from Marrisa on clear thinking. I tend to get in a hurry, and just the idea of being able to be rid of testicles right now, instead of having to wait is wonderful to me. Maybe I let that need overshadow my logic.

@Sophie It does make a huge mess, the McAfee thing. Certainly makes a wild work week. :P

My spiro is basically 20$ a month, and 5$ with insurance. I could always switch to Wal-Mart for that prescription if I didn't have insurance. Really everyone is right that if I lost my job 4$ a month wouldn't hurt like a 3000$ op sitting on a credit card. Yikes. LOL!

@Stace That's true about stress. Its much easier to be happy with something productive to do. I think we're designed to face challenges. :)

ms.shandy said...

Also, just thank you all so much. I'm thinking a little more objectively on the orchi situation. For now I think I'll just keep an open mind. But in the big picture, that money could go toward an SRS fund instead, putting me closer to my long term goal.

Still everyone who has had one has told me that removing the testosterone issue at the source instead of relying on anti androgens feels totally different and I'm not sure I have the maturity an patience to wait for that. LOL!

Calie said...

I've got to echo what Nicky said. Although I have been quite public about not transitioning for now, I do know a lot about the subject.

You are young (and quite lovely I might add) and the orchi could really mess up a future GRS if you waited too long. There are other methods of doing GRS which would be unaffected by the orchi but require much more invasive surgery. For me, since I have little to work with anyway, I would probably have to go this route.

You might want to see if you could get a shot of Lupron, which is the drug used in chemical castrations. Quite effective in simulating the effects of an orchi on your mind and body. Lupron shots are not cheap, but the effects last for months and are not permanent. There is a good article on the web about Lupron for TG's. If you can't find it, let me know.

Lastly, on this subject, consider banking some sperm, just in case, Shandy.

Btw, just last week I removed McAfee from my home computer. Glad I did.

Take care, Shandy.

ms.shandy said...

Hi Callie! Thanks for your comment here, and especially back on "Transgressions". Also, you definitely picked the right time to remove McAfee!

I'm intrigued with this Lupron idea. Another topic to add to my research list it seems. :P

I've been thinking about it and I've decided my desire to have an orchi is a bit defeatist. It stems from my fear that I'll never be able to afford GRS. I think its time for me to analyze what I need to do and organize my finances specifically to have money together on time.

I know the numbers will scare me, but its surgeon shopping time, for GRS. Its time to start thinking positive. :)

Jerica Truax said...

Yay girl! I'm so excited that things are coming along for you! *hugs*

<3 Jerica

Calie said...

Hi Shandy,

Below, are links to an article by Trish Valentine, which we re-printed in our newsletter, and a post about Lupron, from Jill's Woman Undercover blog.

NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

Good call by Calie :-)

Your research on some US-based forums might yield that there are also other alternatives...would be interesting to know ??

These are all "GnRH agonists", that is they work on the pituitary gland to shut it down, rather than directly on the testes like Spiro. That's considered better, to treat "at source" as it were...

Lupron (and Zoladex which I had - I know many other folks who've had it too) is a depot, injected into your abdomen.

You might want to ask about eg. Triptorelin (think it's marketed in the US as "Trelstar") which is a suspension injected into your "rear end" :-) ...strangely a bit more comfortable! I know many folks who've had this too, and the UK has moved more towards this away from Zoladex.

They all have the same effect though :-)
Many endos don't prescribe to treat the T flare that occurs after the initial administration, Cyproterone acetate is often used for that.


Anonymous said...

IT certainly seems you are progressing well with your transition and gaining confidence in yourself.
What a lovely update.

ms.shandy said...

@Callie and Nicki, thanks for the info! I''m intrigued.

Thanks again everyone for the great comments. =)

ms.shandy said...

@Callie and Nicki, thanks for the info! I''m intrigued.

Thanks again everyone for the great comments. =)

Marisa said...

Sorry Shandy if it seemed my argument against your stated rationale for "the procedure" was against your unstated reason for it. Took it at face-value, is all!

Truth is that *need* trumps *logic* in transition nearly always.

Indeed, in my own transition I feel that beating my inner cost/benefit analysis monster (not entirely, as must be evident) has been my second-best achievement. First is self-acceptance--natch!

My rule: Do what must, first. Do what best, second. Understand and examine the difference between the two, always!

Robin said...

Ahhh, progress.

Bask in the glory of it, Shan. I can't wait to see how radiant you are after shedding from this round of laser.

Love you dearly.