Brain Noise

My brain has been pretty noisy lately. I haven’t been able to write much or come to terms with many of my thoughts but I guess I should write before my head explodes. I have been dealing with complication after complication post- phalloplasty so I just have reached the height of my frustration and depression. ¬†Yea that is right, I said it. I am depressed.

I have been dealing with fistulas, which finally seem to be improving but now that I am able to try to pee I have learned that I can’t empty my bladder completely and may have a stricture. My stream has also changed from an actual stream to a spraying mess like a garden hose with a finger over the opening. I am trying my hardest to be able to cope, but it is hard to cope when your usual coping methods are not something you are able to do. I am starting to almost feel like I might be able to do some light workouts but I am feeling nervous about going to the gym with a messed up arm and a catheter… and lets be real my ego is getting in the way of me only being able to lift light. My wrist still has very little mobility so I am not sure how well I would be able to lift, but I think I might be able to use some of the machines.

Surgery aside, I am having some anxiety regarding work which is pretty normal when I am planning to return after surgery. I guess with each surgery I have a small hope I won’t have to return. I always end up having to return.

I am especially frustrated with myself this time because I feel so tired of my job, so burned out and so cynical when it comes to the food industry. It makes me sad when I think that my passion for cooking has died. Maybe there is a chance for it to come back but right now I am just so angry at it. I am tired of being poor, and tired of struggling and I know being trans hand having surgery each year plays a role in that as well but… I feel like if I am going to be poor I want to do something that I am passionate about and worth being poor for. Then of course there is always the hope that somehow, at some point in my life I will make enough money to function like a normal human being. I am so frustrated with where I am at in life some days my brain just shuts down.

I am a strong believer in people having a lot more control over their lives than they might think. If I want my life to be different, I need to take action and put in the work to change it… its just the work that feels so overwhelming to me right now. Surgery has really thrown me for a loop. I don’t know how to function when I don’t have my routine.

Maybe I can still have hope I don’t have a stricture. Maybe one day I will feel back to normal. I just have to keep going, but that is really fucking tough right now.

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Brain Noise

4 Weeks

I am officially 4 weeks post-op today and I am not going to lie I expected things to be going a little better at this point in time. I am bleeding from pretty much every hole possible. I think I split a stitch at my vaginectomy site and that is bleeding, I have a fistula that is bleeding, and I had some blood in my urine this morning. Normally I would email my doctor but I have given up caring at this point. I see him thursday so I figure I will give him a break from my emails and i’ll just complain to him in person in a couple of days.

I appreciate my surgeon and his optimism but there comes a point where you just start thinking they are lying. He says I am healing within normal range, that things look good but damn, things downstairs are just not healing up and it is super frustrating to me. I also haven’t peed yet and it is really starting to bum me out. I am trying to be patient but damn. I do have a time limit. I have to be back to work in less than a month and it is starting to make me really anxious I am not going to make it back in time if I keep having complications. Dear God, please just help things move forward.

 

4 Weeks

Catching Up

I have not written on here in awhile. Mostly because I have been blogging more publicly on tumblr, and also because I haven’t really been able to type since surgery up until the past couple of days. It feels good to be able to type again and get some thoughts out! I think it is important I keep writing out my thoughts or else things tend to just get bottled up.

So, I had phalloplasty a little over 3 weeks ago now. I’ve had some tough moments where I felt I would never heal or feel normal again but I feel like I might finally be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. My arm is improving, and so is my pain. I still have my catheter in and haven’t peed out my penis yet but I am supposed to attempt peeing on monday in hopes of getting the catheter out on Thursday. It all depends on if I have any leakage or not.. we will see I suppose!

It has been the hardest not to be able to go to the gym like I am used to. Or drive yet or etc. Things will ge easier as I get more independent. I am slowly healing.

I have been thinking a lot about what I might do now that I have this first major surgery out of the way. I am honestly undecided on whether I will have stage 2 surgery. I still have to have my glansplasty done but I am pretty burned out on surgeries. I guess I will have to recover from this first surgery first to truly decide on that… but I do feel that I can maybe finally start saving for other things other than just another surgery. I can start paying off my bills and saving to move out. That would be nice… to finally be able to afford to live on my own.

I would also like a career change… I deam of working for myself, but I don’t exatly know what that looks like or what I would do. I could do personal training or cooking… but I just don’t know how realistic or sustainable these things could be or maybe I am just scared. It is hard to visualize what my next move is. All I know is that I will need a change at some point. I have a lot of time to think at the moment, but I am also finding it hard to focus.

Part of me is excited to think I could use this time to gain knowledge and study for my personal trainers certificarted, then part of me doesn’t want to think about fitness because I can’t workout right now and it makes me sad. recovery is such a weird fucking process.

However I do feel motivated to make a fitness comback. I’ve lost 10 lbs of muscle already. One month down of absolutely no working out. I’ve never gone this long without working out! When I had top surgery I still did legs, when I had my hysto, I was lifting light again 2 weeks post-op. The more manageable my pain gets the more antsy I get.

 

 

Catching Up

The Surface

I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about my relationship with my mother. Things between us are not the greatest. Our relationship was mostly built off fear. My mom isn’t the nurturing type, but I do have to say that at least our relationship has been able to go past just being at surface level.

To a certain extent we get each other. We are both hardcore introverts that are misunderstood by my extroverted Father. We are not like him, but he can’t ever seem to accept that not everyone is like him… and if you are not like him then you are some sort of inferior species.

I was thinking the other day how a lot of my childhood memories involve my mom. Some good, some.. not so good at all, but despite all this I realized that I don’t have a lot of memories with my Dad because he wasn’t really there. He was working most of the time, but even when he was home he was checked out. He was in the garage working on his stained glass, or he was in the yard working on his garden, or his pastels or etc.

I’ve spent a lot of time and energy sad and angry about my past with my mom, but I have never truly greived my relationship with my father. He wasn’t there, and he is still not there.

I live in the same house with my Dad still, and our relationship is even more distant than it was when I was a child. I am sure my transition hasn’t been easy for him to deal wtih but its hard sometimes. The only time he talks to me is when he tells me that he sold a painting. “That’s awesome” I will reply.

I feel such a huge tug on my heart to put out more effort into talking to him, to deepening our relationship but at the same time I want nothing more than to be miles and miles away from him. I feel hurt, anger, and fear of rejection. I don’t know that we will ever be close… or that I am strong enough to try to build any sort of relationship at this point.

When I came out to him as trans, the first thing he said to me was “You are going to put yourself in a lot of debt.” He was right, but that about sums up his whole personality. He cares more about money than hapiness or risk. He makes practical decisions, not emotional decisions. The only emotional decision he ever made was marrying my mom and the deepest conversations he ever had with me were how he wanted to leave her.

I never want to sacrifice my happiness for money. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I became a chef. I might not make a lot of money but I get to create, and I get the pleasure or nourishing people.

I can only hope one day that my Dad looks at me the same way he looks at my brother. Of course I want him to be proud of me but at the same time I don’t know how realistic that is and might be better off greiving our relationship rather than continually be let down by some sort unrealistic expectations.

My heart is heavy today.

The Surface

Is It Even Happening?

I have been having some insurance issues.

Two months away from surgery, insurance issues are not something that I want to be having.

Dr. Chen’s office doesn’t submit for pre-approval to your insurance until about 30 days out. They are backlogged and I may not know if I am actually approved until pretty close to my sugery date. This leaves me feeling incredibly anxious.

I can only assume that everything is going to be okay but just in case, I contacted Chens office. The insurance people told me that I needed my primary care physician to send in a more current referral in order for them to submit to my insurance for pre-approval… okay, this would have been good to know and how is it that TWO months before surgery, they need a referral? I already had one but I guess they needed a more current one.

I immediately emailed my doctor to ask for her to send in a referral. She responded pretty quickly and sent in a referral for me but I did notice that the referral just said “General Surgery”. I immediately had my doubts that the referral was done correctly but I didn’t want to question her and just waited it out. Two weeks later and I noticed the referral says closed.

I don’t think my doctors office sent the referral correctly for one, but secondly… why does Chens office need a referral two months out and is this going to delay my approval process?

I am hitting that point in time where I need to talk to my work and let people know that I may be on leave for 12 weeks.

I also emailed Chens office to get a Doctors letter for medical leave.. I am still waiting on that as well.

I am trying to be patient but anxiety makes it really hard. It drives me crazy when there are so many things that are not set in stone. I don’t want to get my hopes up and then have something happen. My hopes are already up so if for some reason I can’t have surgery… this will be devastating.

I am trying not to think about the worst case scenario.

I wish it would all just go smooth for once.

Is It Even Happening?

Look What I’ve Done

Lately I have been struggling with being a perfectionist. I have always been a perfectionist when it comes to things I care about. To the point that I let it paralyze me. Sometimes when I create… whether it is a food or a youtube video I have to fight myself even more the next timet to put something out there again in fear that it might not be good, or not better than the last time. I always want to improve.

There are times that I still fear to take risks or do things that I might fail at and have people see it… but then I think back to all that I have done despite of what others thought.

I got divorced, came out, and transitioned. Although it was not completely fearless… I still did it. I’ve been a bit more full of fear lately but then I have to stop and think to myself… Look what i’ve done.

I’ve made great strides in becoming my authentic self. I AM living. And although I struggle with things…I have been able to push through so much. I can’t forget how far I have come.

 

Look What I’ve Done

100 Days

I am officially under 100 days until surgery. 99 days to be exact.That is pretty crazy to think about.

My mind has been a bit full of anxiety. I am scared about having so much time off from the gym but I am trying to think of things I can focus on instead. Writing is one of them… photography, cooking, and YouTube. It is going to be really hard not to fall into a post-op depression. Some of it is probalby unavoidable but I am determined to fight it the best I can.

People keep asking me if I am nervous.

Of course.

I am incredibly nervous. This is a huge surgery. A surgery that rarely occurs without any complications. It is especially hard to go into knowing that. I am going into this surgery trying to think of ways to cope with complications rather than hoping they won’t happen. ( Okay a small part of me is still hoping it won’t happen. )

It is going to be a very strange feeling to go from being so busy to being laid up in bed. Maybe it will give me the time I need to actually stop and think freely, clearly, without all the jumbled stresses of work.

I am having trouble lately with studying for my personal training exam. I can’t seem to get motivated. I don’t think I will be setting the test date until after surgery. I just have too much going on to stress myself out about one more thing.

I’ve been pretty mad at food for a long time now. Thinking about how I followed my passion of cooking and how I feel I will forever be poor because of it.. BUT, I can’t help but still have such a love for it. I am not done with cooking, it just needs a way to be reborn. I have been brainstorming a bit. I guess I will figure that out at some point. As much as I hate the ego of a chef, I have been working with more experienced chefs lately and it has kind of sparked something in me. A glimmer of what I once felt… They are still passionate about cooking even after so many years and it has been nice to be around others who are still passionate about it.

Food. I am not done with you yet.

 

100 Days