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Aug. 27th, 2015

wilson

It's an old game of Breakout

I've got the papers ready to go off to Social Security and MediCal tomorrow.

Akien mentioned that I've been much quicker to do the legal name change than he was. There are a couple of reasons for that; the simply logistical one is that, since 9/11, it takes a court order to change my name in roughly 2/3 of the places I encounter it. Banks, credit cards, my driver's license, my business license, my health records -- all of these require formal documentation. 20 years ago you could change half of those just by asking them to put a different name down.

The more personal reason is that I think the differential (at any given point, not overall) between my old self and my new self is greater for me than it was for him. He went at the shift gradually, but I took a mad leap in a short space of time. I don't have all that gradual work to support me; more of my identity hangs off of my perception of who I am at any given moment, as I get used to the new reality. Contradictions of that perception -- such as referring to me by a name that belongs to a person whom I am actively learning not to be -- break my concentration, as it were. It's like being in the middle of a live-action role playing game and referring to another player by their out-of-game name. It's jarring, and in my case, disconcerting, and sabotages my self-assurance.

I would much rather be misgendered than dead-named. Thus the rush to try and get my old name out of my daily space. The proof is in the relief I feel with every agency I settle it with, every document I get with my new name on it. It matters. It isn't this important for many trans people, but I changed personalities before I changed my gender. If I take care of the one, the other will be easier.

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cougar

Link: All our tech is insecure

Everything Is Broken

The snarky style is full of quotes which are pure gold, even as the content makes you want to hide under the bed.

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Aug. 25th, 2015

devourer

The same old song

Ah, the usual effort by the medical community to find something, anything, wrong with me other than the problem I'm coming to them for.

You're anemic... let's check your iron levels.

I'm anemic because I've been bleeding constantly since mid-June, after two heavy periods.

Of course, of course... and let's check your B12 too, a deficiency there can lead to anemia.

You do notice that my hemoglobin levels have improved markedly since a month ago, despite the constant spotting?

Mmmhmm... and a liver panel, that's a good idea in anemia cases.

...

I expect it to all come out completely normal, but then one of two things will happen: they'll either add more blood tests to the queue (but not the ones I think they should be doing) or they'll throw up their hands and say it's a reaction to medication, or normal fluctuations, or that I'm really just making a big deal out of nothing and I'm probably exaggerating my symptoms anyway. They never say the last one out loud, but it ends up in my chart in carefully couched language.

Still, I'll play the game and do all the lab work, since the more perfectly normal readings I have, the better I can push back against their suggestions that I need to alter my diet and lose weight -- because I'm already in the pink of health. Except for what I made the appointment about, which won't get addressed. :/

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Aug. 24th, 2015

wilson

I need a prescription for compassion

I guess, if no other good comes out of this year's medical difficulties, it's causing the scales to fall from my eyes.

No more subservience and guiltCollapse )

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tea

Another day, another doctor

I've got to stop doing this.

The next installmentCollapse )

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Aug. 23rd, 2015

wilson

It turns out it's just another day

Yesterday was my birthday. For all my efforts, it never rose above mediocre, really.

Sometimes it doesn"t work outCollapse )

And sometimes it doesCollapse )

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Aug. 18th, 2015

wilson

Still on the right track

UpdatesCollapse )

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Aug. 16th, 2015

wilson

My body, my science experiment

The experiment proceeds. So far so good, for the most part.

Hormonal detailsCollapse )

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wilson

On body-acceptance and disability

I commented in response to a FB post about finding body-acceptance while disabled, then realized that it's probably the most articulate I've been about this subject in a long time.

*********

I have gotten much more patient with my body, even as I've gotten stronger; I still have CFS crashes, and I've come to accept that and work with it rather than getting angry or depressed. I've learned to accept that I grow out of my clothes as time goes on, and I'll have to shop the big&talls soon. I've found things that my body does especially well all by itself, which I can appreciate and have a certain pride in.

I haven't managed to accept my looks, though. I'm hoping I'll gain ground on that as I continue to work on finding a gender presentation that makes me comfortable. It may involve top surgery, or other things to bring my reflection into line with my mental image... I guess I can take some comfort in the fact that I don't hate my body, or anything about it. It just isn't quite how I want it to be, but I can work with that.

*********

I would say it's gone in stages. My health has not improved steadily, and there have been lots of setbacks and high points. First I was figuring out my limits, and sometimes what I found was devastating. I mourned a lot of goals and dreams, and made new ones, only to have them dashed the next time my health took a turn. Over time I became more modest with my dreams, and conscious of my limits. It meant that my world shrank a lot, but I was no longer battering against my cage. I turned inward.

I learned to listen to my body, to find out what made it worse or better, what to eat, when to stop. It was able to give me directions, and when I followed them, things stabilized. I found alternative treatments that made me stronger. When I started to get more ambitious again, such as going back to school, my body became a partner with voting rights; I wasn't always happy about that, and sometimes I pushed too hard, but I was always aware of its commentary. And I got used to falling down, and resting, and picking myself up. It got less scary, more routine.

By now I'm very selfish about my health, and I look out for my body's needs first. My career and lifestyle have been shaped around what I'm physically capable of, so they don't often come into conflict. I know that when I crash, I'll come back again in due course, I just have to wait. And I've simply given up on some things (like traveling the world) and focused on finding contentment with what's within my abilities. As a friend says, what you focus on is what your life becomes full of. I don't focus on my disability, I focus on what my body can do for me every day, and what pleasure that can bring me.

Maybe someday I'll be able to be as confident in my appearance as I am in my performance. I'm working on it.

*********

I was talking with Akien after this, and mentioned that this is the reason I don't seek out the company of fellow CFSers anymore. I had to clarify that it's not a matter of lack of self-acceptance; I still do accept my disabilities. But being with a group of people where the only thing we have in common is a disability means that that commonality is what we all focus on. And I don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about how I'm disabled, what I can't do, how I'm different. I'd rather focus on other things I can do, interesting things, ways of connecting on levels beyond the physical. That's where I want my attention and my energy to be, not on my physical struggles or the unhappy years I've left behind.

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Aug. 15th, 2015

cougar

Link: Tyler Ford on being agender

This is a great article, about a great agender role model. I love their pragmatic approach and confident bearing.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/07/my-life-without-gender-strangers-are-desperate-to-know-what-genitalia-i-have

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