A generic surgery
Yesterday I schlepped out to Be All Chicago for a brief consult with Dr Meltzer, a surgeon from Arizona. (Side note: I didn’t actually register for or attend Be All for a few reasons. First, while it claims to be a “Chicago” conference, it’s actually in Downers Grove. Second, it caters to a significantly older audience, which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but doesn’t make me feel a huge desire to attend.)
Back on track, Dr Meltzer is on my Short List of doctors I’ve researched and would now like to actually meet, or at the very least speak with. Others on the list include Dr Bowers, Dr Reed, Dr Alter, and Dr McGinn. If you’ve heard anything about any of these doctors – positive or negative – please let me know.
I liked Dr Meltzer from our first introduction. A big part of why I want to meet with doctors, perhaps the biggest part, is to see if we ‘click.’ All the doctors I’m looking at have a large enough history and enough reviews that I know they’re not simply back-alley charlatans. But a lesson from having my gallbladder our – where I had no choice of doctors, cuz it was emergency surgery – is that clicking with a doctor can make you feel safer and more comfortable.
Continue reading 'Meeting about THE SURGERY'»
There’s a story at the LA Times about a trans woman in prison who is suing the state to provide gender reassignment surgery and move her to the women’s jail (from her current housing in the mens’). Surprisingly, the article is pretty well done, as mainstream articles goes: it respects the prisoner’s pronouns and gender, and while it touches on trans folks’ assigned sexes, it doesn’t do so in a sensationalist way. For major news coverage, I was fine with it.
Not so coverage of the same story in Australia’s Herald Sun:
Lyralisa Stevens, who was born male but lives as a female, said in a suit filed in San Francisco’s 1st District Court that the removal of her male genitalia and subsequent transfer to a female prison were necessary to save him from the threat of harm, the Los Angeles Times reports. (Emphasis added)
Well, no, actually the LA Times said the suit claimed the surgery was necessary to save her from the threat of harm. But the token “her male genitalia” is the only nod the article makes to the prisoner’s gender – the rest of the article uses male pronouns, and even goes so far as to say “In supporting documents, psychotherapist Lin Fraser – referring to Stevens as “her” – said she held “grave concerns” for Stevens’ safety because the inmate “had been put alone in cells all night long with men who threatened and abused her,” the Los Angeles Times reported.” (Again, emphasis added.)
Fuck you, Herald Sun! Fraser is referring to Stevens as female because – imagine that – it’s the respectful thing to do!
But both papers avoid the larger question: should the court require state-provided SRS?
Continue reading 'Trans reporting fail, missing the point'»
While researching SRS, I’ve been compiling a list of surgeons in North America. I don’t like admitting it, but going to Thailand (the most common non-NA place I see SRS docs practicing) sort of unnerves me. I like the idea of being somewhere where I understand the culture and can communicate with the staff. Maybe that’s an unreasonable fear (based on the reviews I’m reading of Thai docs, it seems like it is an unreasonable fear) but, at least for now, I’m focusing on North America.
So what have I found? Here’s the list of doctors I’m most actively investigating:
Dr McGinn – Pennsylvania
Dr Bowers – Colorado (but moving to California some time within the next year)
Dr Brassard – Montreal
Continue reading 'Surgeons'»
Yeah, it's a little cheesey. What do you want from me?
Transitioning, for me, has primarily been an experience of moving away from things. At every stage, I’ve thought about how unhappy I was, not about how things would be better if I did XYZ.
I went into therapy because I was miserable, not because I was particularly sure I could be happy. I went on hormones because presenting and living as male fit me horribly, like an itchy and too-tight outfit, full of pins and needles. Not because I thought I’d succeed as living as a woman. I underwent hair removal because being hairy felt all wrong, not because I thought being smooth would be pleasant.
Fortunately, I was wrong about those things: When I reached whatever minor goal I’d set for myself it was better, not simply “less bad.” But my thought process was still about moving away from things – a false presentation, hiding something, masculinity – not moving toward anything.
I’ve been continuing to think about The Surgery. And I’ve realized that, for the first time in my transition, I’m interesting in moving toward something rather than away.
Continue reading 'Moving toward something?'»
This is my gallbladder, Tim.
First, apparently it’s “gallbladder” or “gall bladder,” not “gal bladder.” Good to know.
Second, a little more info on what has been going on.
The gallbladder is used as sort of a digestive backup: it stores bile produced elsewhere and, when hard-to-digest food is introduced to the digestive tract – the gallbladder will send in the reinforcements. That means it’s useful, but not critical.
Gallstones are formed out of normal bile components that somehow solidify and get stuck in obnoxious (and potentially dangerous) places.
Continue reading 'The gallbladder has gotsta go!'»
Almost a month after my recent visit, I’m back in the hospital. I came to the ER this morning with more abdominal pain, and they’ve since determined it’s a gal bladder issue. Tomorrow they’ll definitely be removing some gal stones, an possibly the gal bladder itself. I’ll them get out Wednesday or Thursday, hopefully.
If they decide not to remove the gal bladder this week (to let swelling go down) I’ll be back in 4 to 6 weeks for that.
More later (posting from my phone) but wanted to shoot out an update.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been thinking about surgery. My therapist recommended I start by gathering information – no thoughts at this point about whether or not I actually want surgery – just so I can reduce my own ignorance.
I figured I’d start by asking y’all if you had any links or resources you’d recommend for someone beginning to think about The Surgery. Or, if you’d had The Surgery and are willing to share, what doctor did you use? How was the experience?
I have some links I’ve been finding, and will hopefully post those later this week, but I’d love any recommendations for where to start looking. Thanks!
Didn’t sleep well at all last night. Particularly a shame because I got to bed early-ish, and was hoping for a good 8.5 hours of sleep…
My first nightmare was set at some sort of bar or club – dim lighting, lots of people drinking, that sort of thing. I was performing burlesque. which is enough of a nightmare that the dream didn’t need to go any further… I was on some sort of couch on a raised platform, facing the rest of the bar.
I began taking off clothing, article by article, and the crowd was going wild. I could feel a charge from the crowd, from their enjoyment of my body. I was putting myself on display, and I was enjoying it.
But as I got down to just underwear (topless, but doing my burlesque best not to show everything) I started to hear upset murmurings from the crowd. It dawned on me that I was in underwear that made it obvious I was trans, so to speak. The crowd – mostly men – was angry at this deception, this offense, this outrage.
I got up from the couch in tears, covering myself with a pillow, and ran to a stairwell. A friend came to try and comfort me, but didn’t understand why I was upset and did a miserable job at calming me down, at which point I woke up.
Continue reading 'Nightmares'»
I just got back from a weekend (well, 16 hours) visiting one of my high school friends in Minneapolis. (I know you read this blog, so hi!) I drove up with one of my roommates on Saturday, arriving around 5:30PM, and left this afternoon at about quarter to one. We had a lot of fun – it was really great to see my friend’s house, spend a little bit of time (far too little!) with her son, and meet some of her friends at a Halloween party she and her husband were hosting. (I was undead – I’ll post pictures when I have some better ones…the ones from my camera weren’t great.)
Inadvertently, the party made me think more broadly about the idea of wearing costumes in our every-day life. First, because apparently queer people are really rare in Minnesota.
Continue reading 'Halloween Costumes, and Costumes for Life'»