Sunday, February 29, 2004

Leap day of a leap year

I think I’ve leapt.

Back to the story...we headed home from the Cocoon House after picking up some extra meds. One of my pain killers made me very very warm and caused my heart to race, so I stopped using it, and only used the other. I think they were both "triple script", so Mira wasn’t about to give me either of them, which led to her prescribing the Vicodin, which I’ve never used until now.

We got home on Thursday, and one of the first things I did that afternoon was to see how much weight I lost. I tipped the scales at 141 on the day before surgery, and weighed in at 134 eight days after surgery. I was probably less while at the Cocoon House, and for a few days, really noticed some ‘curves’ forming with a sore left bum (they probably dropped me during the bed transfers at some point...or poked me with a needle) and a shrinking waistline. I don’t have a big waistline, but with all of my muscle, it just isn’t a female waistline even though I don’t have that much fat there. Anyway, things looked cool at that weight...which will probably come over time as I lose the boy muscle....uh, well, one can dream, at least.

So, Thursday night Mom made up some mac’n cheese for me. Friday I had eggs again in the morning (Yeah! I had peppers, tomatoes, AND onions in them), and my roomie picked up some Chinese food for us for that night. I had Hot and Sour soup, but it didn’t taste quite the same....something I’ll talk about soon. Saturday, I had pasta in the city with Claire and Amy, and then leftover soup and fresh eggs for dinner. Today, I had eggs again for breakfast and Mom made up some angel hair pasta with tomatoes and garlic tonight. Yummm! She even made up a ton of it for me to eat later this week after she leaves. Oh, she’s been great out here, and very patient with me. At times, I just prefer to do nothing, but she’s still kept herself busy. She made a cake on Friday, and we’ve eaten it on and off, along with some ice cream. She’s made runs to the grocery store for me, and cooked up all of my meals. I’m going to miss her when she leaves.

Brooke, Susan x 2, Michelle, and Ally have all visited. It’s been nice to have visitors, but in the end, I usually end up booting them when I get tired. Prerogatives!!!

So, the results so far? Well, I actually feel very comfortable with the forehead and placement of the eyebrows so far. The hairline position in the middle of my forehead is fine, and I can live with the position on my left side, but the hairline position on my right side is about 1cm further back than the other side, which is not so livable.

The nose I do not like so far. It feels big in some areas, and way out of proportion on the tip, which also seems to be ‘squatty’ toward the bottom. I asked for a straight nose, but it doesn’t feel that straight so far. I was mainly concerned about a straight transition into the forehead, but it just has the standard Dr. O scoop nose transition. That sucks. I basically should have just told him to blend the forehead into the top portion of my nose, and I’ll go somewhere else to have the nose done...BUT, I could also be premature in my evaluation of my nose. Yes, I realize it’s swollen, but it just looks way off...and if it doesn’t come down in swelling to a position that I like, then I have to wait for a minimum of 6 months before I can even attempt to have another surgery on it. And, of course, who wants to have more surgery? My nose also feels like it was sewn back down onto my septum area off about 3mm, which makes it feel like it’s pointed over to the left due to that. OK, I looked at my before picture, and although I was fairly symmetrical from straight on, the nose did slightly bend to the left due to the deviated septum. He fixed the deviated septum, but I’m still having issues with my Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, perhaps since there is still considerable swelling. I really hope it goes away in time.

I’m also still having trouble smelling, and for that matter, getting the full sensation of taste. If I get right up on something, I can smell it, but otherwise my sense of smell is limited to those odors which are rather strong.

The upper lip has healed up pretty nicely, besides the incision for the nose flap. The chin is still very very swollen, and I have two huge knots along the jawline about halfway along each side. I believe this is the area where he reconnects the bone to the jaw. The incision on the inside of my mouth still hurts due to the swelling of the surrounding tissue, but the incisions on the back of my mouth for the back jaw flair are pretty much healed up. The back of the jaw looks pretty good, and I can’t detect any huge problems with symmetry with that portion. The bumps are of different size though, and hopefully they will subside in a fairly reasonable fashion.

The trachea shave was pretty good, although the area around the incision under my chin is still rather swollen, but the actual incision doesn’t look that bad. I also think he might have been able to shave a little more off, but I think I can live with the results, plus if there is any swelling there, any reduction of it will just make the results better.

The top of my head is numb from about the actual crown of my head to the front incision. The area from my bottom lip to the tip of my chin has half sensation, and is close to the feeling you might have as you are recovering from having a dentist numb your mouth. I can feel it, but it’s slightly tingly. The tip of my nose is fairly numb, but I can feel all of my upper lip. The mobility of my upper lip, however, is fairly limited. I can’t quite pucker, such as when applying lipstick to both top and bottom lips. I also have this weird pain that shoots down from the teeth located directly above the large knot on my left jaw whenever I move my head in a weird manner to stretch that area. It’s almost as though the nerve in that area is surrounded or runs over swelled tissue, and it’s aggravating it when I stretch it further.

So, overall, I’m generally pleased, except with the nose, which I knew going in would probably be my most likely concern afterward. I’ll give it time to heal, though, and hopefully I will come to like it.


I went into FFS scared that the nose packing would really freak me out. It didn’t. I had the oxygen mask the first two nights and was basically so drugged up, that I didn’t have time to really think about it. Once I was over to the Cocoon House, I just made sure to take my Valium to ease my nerves and take away any anxieties, and everything came out well with it.

Tricia and Mary-Lou also draw up a little matrix of what drugs you took and when you took your last one. It helped to remember when I needed to take my next one, or when I should wait to take another one.

One of the hardest parts is sitting up while trying to sleep. I think I would make it about 4-5 hours on the good drugs, and then I would wake up with the pain. It’s not horrible pain, but it’s enough to prevent you from sleeping. At the Cocoon House they basically have you sitting up at a 50 degree angle. I threw a bunch of large pillows together when I got home, and I started out sleeping at about a 25 degree angle. I’m down to a 10 degree angle now, and will probably try to sleep in the configuration for a while because it keeps me from sleeping weird on my nose. I have sort of a little valley created in my pillows to keep me pointed up.

The baby toothbrush worked well at enabling me to brush my teeth the Dr. O recommended 3 times a day. I've been using Q-tips, and sometimes tweezers, to clean out my nose, and itch it on the front surface.

Dr. O is the best in the business with the boney work. He’s good, and hardly anyone else is doing anything like it. He’s secure in his work, which is good, but he’s basically set on one formula of how your face should be. When I talked about going over different features, he basically said he’d be doing his homework the morning of surgery. When I relayed where I would like my hairline, he stated that my ideal was right along the lines of where he would be placing it. I also asked for the straight nose. As I mentioned, I will have to wait to see how it ends up. The jaw and chin I wasn’t too concerned about as I knew the job there usually turns out pretty good. The only thing you have to watch for is if you get extra baggy skin. I was hoping that I was young and thin enough that my skin would rebound with the missing boney material. It’s hard to say how it will turn out, but at 33, I may have been pushing the limits of youth for my skin. I’d hate to have to have a facelift at 33 just to look 33. That’s pretty sad, but again, I’ll wait to see after the swelling has gone down.

Prune Juice

Ahhhh...prune juice. Well, face it, pain killer medication causes constipation. It’s just a fact. That’s why it’s really hard for me to understand how all of these celebrities get hooked on pain killers. Anyway, I took along some laxative medication, but I figured I’d try the fairly natural method of prune juice since they had it at the Cocoon House. Prune juice actually tasted pretty good to me. I was amazed. And, it had a lot of flavor. So, well, prune juice does it’s thing, and WHAM!, It’s supposed to get you to go potty...#2 style. Well, it sorta got to me, except, well, it started giving me gas. And since I couldn’t really smell....well, you know. What was really funny, though, is that sitting there in bed with gas I noticed that it smelled like prune juice. tastes like prune juice going down, and smells like prune juice coming out. How wonderful??? When Tricia took the Cocoon House gang down to the local cafe, I noticed upon entry that, well, the entire place smelled like prune juice to me. As I walked around, I also noticed that if I did smell anything, it smelled like prune juice. OK, well, I knew that in several of those places I had never done anything, yet it still smelled like prune juice to me. Everything I could smell was smelling like prune juice, or was it perhaps, that anything I smelled was actually registering as only one smell which I similarly recognized as prune juice? Who knows. Anyway, yesterday, when my mom, Claire, Amy, and I were walking around the Haight-Ashbury area, I noticed that the cafe Claire was ordering some coffee in again reeked of prune juice. All of them had already heard my story on prune juice and what I was smelling, so I asked my mom how close the smell of coffee was to that of normal gas as she went into the cafe. As she walked out, she’s smiling and nodding her head up and down. It seems she did, in fact, think that the two smelled similar. I, of course, was trying to contain my laughter since it quite hurt to laugh. Anyway, just know that the stuff does work, and it doesn’t taste that bad.

Where do we go now?

Gwen Smith emailed a few days back, and I sent her a response talking about the local transgender’s politics, direction, and my place in the whole grand scheme of things. I feel I have a year to that I have a year to tweak out who I fully am as a female. That’s why I ran for Ms. Transgender San I could give back to the community and help with outreach during that year. I obviously didn’t win, but I still want to help in some manner. TGSF is the largest transgender group in the area, but it’s intermixed with a large number of middle aged cross dressers who need a place to go while all dressed up. The transsexual minority at this time, which actually puts forth more effort in my opinion, is lost in the ocean simply because she/he doesn’t associate with being a cross dresser. The thing is, TGSF is seen by the rest of the world as the transgender/transsexual outreach of the area because there just aren’t any large groups out there. But in reality, TGSF’s outreach sucks. Yes, it sucks. I can say that...I’m on the board. So, with all of these thoughts running back and forth on what and how I should conduct my next year, I asked Gwen if I could give her a call today and discuss the whole situation with her.

So, this afternoon, we chatted for close to an hour or so. We talked about TGSF, the politics, the power struggles, who freaked me out, who didn’t, the recent laughable shows on transsexuals and transgender individuals this past week on both CBS and NBC, and just where she saw me fitting in. I’ve debated about running for president of TGSF and turning the focus from the social side of it, to letting the social group handle that, and turning a larger focus to the outreach side of it....or, just running for the Outreach Chair in the upcoming elections. A lot of it comes down to energy. It takes a lot of it to be president, and I don’t know if I have all of the energy that it takes to be effective in that position. I mean, I plan on working on my own development over the remainder of my life...getting back to living a fairly normal life...if indeed a transsexual can live a normal life. I’d like to take another dance class. I’d like to take some art classes. I’d like to learn how to cook a little better. I’d like to have to stop worrying about being a transsexual and just go back to living.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

FFS and the Cocoon House

So, where was I...oh yeah...being transported over to the Cocoon House. Shannon and I were up in the front room for Friday night, my first night out of the hospital and without that little machine that kept me happy.

Brooke, Michelle, and Marina all visited that Friday night (the 20th) and kept me company. I think I booted them when I started getting tired. I was popping pain pills about every 4-6 hours, especially those first few nights, and you have to sleep upright after having FFS because of the swelling in the face, which makes sleeping, uhh...., fun.

Most of Friday and Saturday I spent eating the stock of apple sauce, chocolate pudding, and yogurt. That’s about all I could handle. Mary-Lou also washed my hair on Friday. That felt pretty good since it hadn’t been washed since early Wednesday morning, and there was....well...a lot of schtuff in my hair.

On Saturday, Hin arrived, and Shannon shipped out. Hin had another reduction of her cheek bone, which she found too wide. I saw her before/after picture of FFS, and she turned out Did she need the second cheek bone reduction? Probably not, but it made her feel comfortable to have it done. Hin stayed in the back room and was pretty quiet. Marina visited again that night to keep me company for a while, especially since I was alone in the front room. Tricia and Mary-Lou were also picked up fairly early that morning by a fancy black car carrying Dr. O, Mira, plus at least one other. They were all headed to V-Day.

Someone told me that Dr. O had donated enough money to put on the V-Day activities all by himself, but others had donated as well so they made it a grand production. Since I handed him a check for over $27,000 on Wednesday on top of the hospital fees and the down payment back in October, I figure I was the one who actually paid for all of it. Just kidding...that’s just what I told the people who went there while I was in Cocoon since I was just jealous.

On Sunday, I tried eggs. Scrambled. They rocked, but of course, that’s about the limit of consistency I was able to manage. Mom scrambled them up for me. Afterward, I found I liked apple sauce just to cool the mouth down a bit. Tricia and Mary-Lou also were dropped back off that afternoon by the Dr. O crew after visiting LA the day before. They even brought back a souvenir program for me.

Sunday was also a big day for visitors. /Amber/, Brooke, Michelle, Susan, Julie, Diana, Minka, Susan from Helsinki, and Tyler all visited. Actually, Tyler stayed. She was having surgery on Monday. There was also the bunch that drove back from V-Day: Claire, Sarah, Rachel, and Renee. I hadn’t seen Renee in quite a while since she’s never lived in the area, only visited. We chat online here and there, and we’ve known each other since like December 2001...quite a while it seems.

On Monday, I moved into having tomatoes in the scrambled eggs. Yes, tomatoes! I still continued with the apple sauce, pudding, and yogurt. Brooke, Claire, Robi, Ro, and Y visited. Yep, three coworkers visited that night. I answered the door when they rang the buzzer, and had I not said hello to them, they wouldn’t have recognized me. Ro lives just around the corner from the Cocoon House, so they didn’t have far to go, except Y whose commute has always been pretty long. Anyway, wow...they visited. They said that “sensitivity training” was this upcoming week, and that Pete was in jury duty, so it was just Robi by herself. The good news, though, was that the problems that occurred that last week at work were finally resolved. I was right on one of the problems...whoo hoo!!!! The other one worked itself out as well, I think. It was funny, when Robi started talking work, I moved my fingers to my ears and started going “la la la la la la” as though I didn’t want to hear anything about it. I was on “vacation”. No stress. But Robi did drop off some very femme fashionable magazines that I will have to read after my mom leaves. My mom, though, was definitely making it quite easy during my recovery, as well as Tricia and Mary-Lou. Wilma Jean also arrived on Monday, and although of a different generation, she was still one of those along the same journey. She was an Irish music fan. Luckily for me, I couldn’t hear it Monday night.

I’d been changing the nose dressing, and could see all the little stuff kinda right at the base of my nostrils. Fun stuff. I enjoyed showing it to those that stopped by...and were interested in seeing it, but I never took a picture of it. That’s probably a good thing.

Monday also came with some good and bad news. The good news was that my nose packing came out, along with removal of the chin dressing and the forehead sutures. Mira pulled this nasty stuff out of my nose and I was finally able to breathe. Yes, it felt weird having all of it pulled out and was slightly uncomfortable, but I was finally able to breathe. Some say they find religion when the nose packing comes out. I found I could breathe, but I couldn’t smell. I still had the nose cast on and there were two splints up there somewhere. I also started using Saline Spray to try to keep the inside of my nose slightly moist and fresh. (Does that sound like a commercial?)

The bad news on Monday came after the nose packing came out. It seems my mom had an accident in San Francisco the day after my surgery. Although she was ok, she damaged the front end of my car. Tricia and Mary-Lou thought it was best if I wasn’t told until the packing was out of my nose since they didn’t want me going through any further stress. Although I didn’t care about the condition of my car, it was probably best that they waited. I told Mom that it’s just a car, and that as long as she was ok, it didn’t really matter. It was also the reason why I didn’t remember her being around when Survivor was on TV while I was in the hospital. But like I said, I didn’t actually remember much about my hospital stay.

On Tuesday, we moved into having green peppers in my eggs. Yes, green peppers! You can kinda see a common theme here. Chris and Line (pronounced Lee-nah) from Denmark came by to visit. They gave me a bear, which I added to the bunny Claire gave me, a bear that came from a mysterious person with the initials T. C. (who I later found to be an internet friend, not an internet person who chased me down), another bunny from my coworkers, and my own bear, Stuffed, which I brought along. Chris and Line had also attended V-Day, and Chris was up to have a consult with Dr. O as well that week. She was making the West Coast rounds.

Wednesday was Wilma Jean’s FFS, and although she tried to give a cold exterior appearance, she was a scared little girl inside. She tossed and turned all night, and she had her music going a little loud such that I could hear it. I took my pain pills and got a few hours of sleep, and figured it was better for her to try to be comfortable than have me worry about losing that much sleep. I had all of Wednesday to catch up. The alarm went off at 4 something, and we had her on her way by 5:10am to the hospital. I think she said that she slept about 20 minutes during the whole night.

On Wednesday, guess what? I had eggs with green peppers again! They rocked. Seriously. I was also supposed to go home that day, but, earlier, when I found that the nose cast wouldn’t come off until Thursday, I asked if there was room for me to stay an extra night so I could just travel from the Cocoon House up to the hospital instead of having to go all the way home. Yep, they squeezed me in, but I moved beds to the back room with Tyler who came in Tuesday.

Claire, Chris, and Line visited again on Wednesday, and we spent an hour that night watching the 48 Hours Investigates program on CBS. 48 Hours had actually called Mira/Dr. O about doing a segment in early December, and they’d asked Claire since she fell in that time period if she was interested in being on the show. Claire turned them down, but that entire night I kept telling Claire, “Hey, you could’ve been on the show this very night.” They never found someone for that segment, but they had 3 segments total. One was on Jennifer Boylan with her book “She’s Not There”. I still don’t understand why she came up with that title, because if “she” isn’t there, then who is? I guess I’d have to read the book to understand the title, but Susan says it’s just like any other sappy TS/wife transition story.

The second segment was the best, as they followed a young female to male transsexual. He was 11, and oh so brave. So was his mom. Wow. To come to realize who you are at such an early age, and to have supportive family, is just incredible. The reporter asked him, “Why do you want to be a man?” God, I hate it when they do that. ‘Straights’ just don’t understand that it’s not that we want to be a man or a woman, it’s that our brain says that it is. I’d turn the question on them and ask them why they want to be a man or a woman and have them respond with, “I am,” then have them ask me again. How would I answer? “I am,” just like they did.

The third segment had a wacky fast tracker. They had her doing all of the girlie things, with one etiquette lady telling her, “This is how women eat.” Oh bull shit. You can eat any way you want. Yeah, it’s polite to eat that way, but it doesn’t make you a woman. We laughed a lot during the last segment, making rash comments along the way. It hurt to laugh though, and even Tyler had to walk out of the room because she was hurting so much from the laughter. Chris and Line said we could have had our own commentary show on the program, which would have been a riot.

There was also a question asked during the program that went something like, “Are you/is she different from the person 5 years ago?” Well, duh! I think we all change over 5 years, don’t we? I mean, are you the same person you were 5 years ago? Sure, TS can change physically quite a bit, but we all grow over time.

On Thursday, I had an appointment with Mira to have my nose cast and splints removed, along with the staples that were in the incision through my hair on the sides of my head. That incision ran about an inch above my ears all the way across my forehead. Yes, the staples hurt being pulled out. Yes, the nose cast hurt when she was taking it off. Yes, the removal of the splints inside my nose hurt. But hey, they had to come off at some point...and they didn’t hurt that bad. After that, I went back over to the Cocoon House and had lunch. This time I had eggs with green peppers again!

Wilma Jean and Michelle were both discharged after my appointment, and I saw them at the house later. Unfortunately, Thursday was my last day at the Cocoon House. After lunch and a power nap, I cried as I said my good bye’s, especially to Tricia (but Mary-Lou was at work). I had really interesting conversations with both Mary-Lou and Tricia during my stay at Cocoon. They made me feel overwhelmingly comfortable there. I respected them incredibly for their energy and essence. I had finished up my entry in ‘da book’, started nearly 2 years ago at the Cocoon House. I also wrote a poem, entitled “I Forgot I Had A Nose”, in the book, and will leave to only those that take their journey along the same footsteps I took. So, with hugs and tears, I said good-bye to my stay at the Cocoon House.

OK, I’m to bed again.

Friday, February 27, 2004

The days after FFS

I remember waking up in the recovery room of the hospital that Wednesday evening with Claire and my mom in the room. I can’t necessarily remember what they said or what I said, but I remember I was there...had suction a few times in my mouth, but best of all I can remember having an oxygen mask. I think my mom said that my oxygen levels were coming up low when they checked, so they had given me the mask. The mask had a flow of oxygen, along with a very light mist. That rocked. My throat never felt dry in the hospital for my two nights there. About 4 days post-op, I tried talking to Mira and Dr. O about having that there for all, but due to hospital dynamics, it’s basically only there if your oxygen levels are too low. I joked with them about how one could try to get the mask, but it’s probably something not to be joked about. Plus, Dr. O said he would actually be concerned about the nose cast and the chin strap getting wet. I made sure to check the moisture level when I put the mask on and off, and to wipe out any excess liquid. I never had any nausea those two days, nor did I ever feel the need to throw up. Mom also said that the surgery went well and that I hardly bled during the entire operation...which is why I probably didn't puke after waking up...since there wasn't that much blood that drained into my stomach. Since I had watched Claire go through all of this, I was pretty much prepared to feel like total butt that first night, but not remember much of it later on. My first night, though, wasn't that fact, it was quite tolerable.

So, anyway, those first two days are mainly marked by me knowing I was there, but only remembering certain parts of it. I remember just Claire and my mom being there the first night. I can remember Mom snoring so loudly that first night I had to get out of bed to wake her up so I could get some sleep. (I think I yelled at her to go home so I could sleep...but she stayed, and brought her Darth Vader sleeping machine the next night.) I can remember a nurse taking the catheter out on Thursday...ouch! I can remember a few nurses coming around to take vitals and empty out the blood bag drains connected to my jaw. I can remember them walking me around the ward once Thursday evening, and in doing so walked right past Marina who didn’t recognize me. I remember Marina visiting with flowers, but I don’t remember much of the conversation. I can remember having to go pee about 3 times, and seeing myself in the mirror for the first time. I remember an annoying person who came around with food and whined about me not peeing in the white retainer they had in the toilet. Hey, she said go pee. I saw this white thing there and put it on the sink since it was in the way. She didn’t tell me to physically go pee in it. I can remember Dr. O coming in one morning to remove the drains in my mouth...ouch! Anyway, I can remember my mom saying we would watch Survivor that Thursday night, but I couldn’t remember actually doing it with her. I taped it at home and watched it again last night, and like I told those in the room, I knew I’d seen certain parts of it, but I couldn’t actually remember it, nor did I know what was going to happen next. (On a little side note about reality television, with the appearance of two transsexuals on European reality TV over the past few years, I think we can expect to see a TS on a big-name reality TV show in the US inside the next year or two. I don’t know how or when, but, trust me, there will be one. Will it be the beginning of the Transsexual Revolution as the Gay Revolution materialized in the 80’s and 90’s? Who knows?)

With the morphine or Demerol pain reliever system (called a PCA) those first two days, you just press a button which delivers the pain killers. It locks you out for a certain amount of time, but basically you keep punching that and slip in and out of consciousness. It was quite fun, and I don't remember ever really feeling any pain in the hospital. The care there was excellent, except for the one annoying person with the food and peeing bit, but I only saw her for a day.

Friday rolled around, and with that in mind, we rolled out of the hospital pretty fast. They had me dress in my clothes that I arrived in, then wheeled me in a wheelchair downstairs. Mira was there with her fancy black car and whisked me over to the Cocoon House, where I was set up in the front room, but not against the window. I figured the light and street noise would be a little less from the other bed, but I definitely enjoyed the front bedroom better...just more positive. I was also able to enjoy Tricia and Mary-Lou’s bright faces as they entered the apartment first thing in the morning.

OK, I’ve written on and off all day, but I’m headed to bed. More later.

Sunday, February 22, 2004


Pulled from the pages of my written journal (but because my attention span never really lasted long enough, the rest I will have to pull from my notes):

I sit here in the Cocoon House recovering from FFS 4 days ago. Yes, it still hurts, but it’s more of an overall discomfort. I went full time just over a week ago, so in essence, this has been one of the greatest weeks of my life.

On Tuesday, the day before surgery, I was supposed to pick up my mom at the airport an hour before my presurgical meeting with Dr. O. I stayed up until 4am trying to get everything done before being gone for so long. I planned to sleep in until about 10, but Dad called at 8am to tell me Mom’s flight was delayed out of the Midwest. So, I moved my alarm back to 10:45, but Claire called at 10 to also wake me up. So, I got ready, then traveled up to see Mira and Dr. O. While going through all the motions, I found that my check card had a limit on purchases, so I would have to run down to the local branch and get a cashier’s check for the remainder of the amount to Dr. O. I did that after finishing my discussions with Mira and Dr. O. During part of my initial visit though, Mom calls to say she’s arrived. The bad part is that by the time I get out of my consult, I know it’s going to be rush hour and nearly impossible to get over to Oakland and back. So, I ask her to see if she can ride BART over and I’ll pick her up at the Civic Center terminal. (If you didn’t catch last month’s entries, my mom got lost many times when she was driving around locally with my car, so I knew this was going to be a pretty big challenge.) So, after taking care of the consult and the cashier’s check, I picked up my Mom. Yeah!!! Unfortunately, she was basically standing there in the rain. We get back in the car and Tyler calls from Dr. O’s to say that I need to take presurgery photos. So, we drive back over, take the pictures, then escort Tyler over to the Cocoon House where we meet Debra and Shannon, and I introduce my Mom to Tricia, one of the pair of wonderful women that run the Cocoon House. We’re already behind schedule and I need to fill two prescriptions before surgery, so we’re off to meet everyone over at the Cheesecake Factory. I get Mom and Tyler up to the restaurant...we’re there first...then head down to a local pharmacy to pick up the two prescriptions. I head back over to the restaurant and find I’m right behind “joanb” and the visiting Sarah. Anyway, I had a group of 10 join my mom and I for dinner, including Claire, Amy, Ani up from LA, /Amber/, “joanb”, Sarah from the Northwest, Susan, Brooke, Michelle, and Tyler. It took us forever to get seated, not the Cheesecake Factory’s fault, but due to a few people who couldn’t get there on time...we shan’t mention names. We finally sat down and I ordered one of my simple favorites - angel hair pasta with tomatoes. I splurged with a strawberry lemonade, followed by sharing a piece of Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake with my mom. Basically, you can’t go wrong there. As time rolled on though, I knew it was time to get going. I began to give everyone hugs and started crying. I have a hard time saying “good-bye.” They could all tell I was getting emotional, but what do you expect when you’re saying good-bye to some of your best friends - people who have shared in the same journey. If I could have, I just would have stood there hugging them all night long, but I needed to get some rest. So, Mom and I walked to my lone car and drove home. I answered an email or two, then was off to bed about 1:30am. The alarm was set for 4:30am.

It rang pretty early, and I woke up my mom at that point. I grabbed a quick shower, then threw gobs of leave-in conditioner in my hair. Next, we were off to San Francisco. I showed my mom how to get to the Cocoon House first since we hadn’t been able to do that the day before. I was a little late to Admissions, but nothing that bad. They had my clothes off and me in a gown in no time (I need more dates like this!...thhhpppt!). I also had to put on these long white leg compression stockings and little booties for my feet. Mary-Lou stopped by in a very cheerful mood and said good luck. Because I did all of the driving that day and the night before, Dr. O suggested in my pre-meeting that I not take the Valium since I had been able to sleep the night before. But after the nurse plugged in the IV foundation plug, he said the anesthesiologist wanted me to take some Valium after seeing my vitals even though I know they weren’t too bad. Down they went. Dr. O stopped by in this sharp looking black outfit with his white doctor's coat over it. I again politely requested, "...and a straight nose please!!!". Then they wheeled me down to the operating floor waiting area. Someone came by and then.....

Monday, February 16, 2004

Dodging raindrops

I went running between the rain showers this morning. After that, I ate a small bowl of cereal in front of the computer while listening to the TV. Ricki Lake was on with one of those ‘Look at Me Now’ episodes. And as you might guess, they had a transsexual on there who surprised an old friend from high school. Suffice it to say, she was able to recognize her friend right away. The TS wasn’t your normal Jerry Springer type. This one kept it mainly real.

I don’t know how much people will be able to recognize me after surgery, but I’m sure they will still be able to. Once people know to look for me as a girl, they do pretty good in picking me out, but otherwise, I don’t think they would recognize me.

I was hoping to catch a sunset and a sunrise before surgery, but with the current weather lately, I don’t think that is going to happen. Well, surgery rapidly approaches. Surprisingly, I don’t feel that nervous yet. I’m sure it will hit me the morning of surgery. I’m also a little excited, but just like being nervous, I’m doing ok. I think there are still a lot of things that I need to get done, that I’m worried more about them than the actual surgery. I know that sounds so funny, but that’s the way it is.

Although I have been full time for a few days now, this surgery does mean quite a bit. It means hopefully not having the anxiety of wondering if people will see me as a woman or not when they first meet me. Sure, I still need to perfect the voice for interacting with people, but just walking down the street, no one should be able to tell...or that’s my goal at least.

My spirits will probably be down severely while dealing with the pain from the surgery, but hopefully I won't act/be/seem like a total bitch.

Anyway, this is my last post for now. I’m sure I’ll be filling in a few posts later from hand written entries in my journal, but don’t look for anything soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Prep work

Sunday - February 15, 2004

Ahhh...what a packed past week it has been. I thought I would be able to relax this weekend, but I just haven’t had any chill time yet. I headed to the city to pick up Claire, and on my way to her place, I drove past City Hall to get off the mainly beaten path, but instead, noticed a CNN van. I then realized that all of the media was down there covering the same-sex marriage issue. As I pulled up to a stop light, I saw Gwen Smith and her wife crossing the street in front of me. I response. As a fellow TS, I have also learned to ignore honkers. I honked again...still nothing. So, I tried as best as possible to make it a “friendly” honk with a quick double honk, if that can indeed be considered friendly. Well, Gwen may have still been following the TS credence, but her wife looked over as I waved frantically at them. They motioned for me to pull to the side, so I did. I asked if they were getting married since all of the same-sex marriages have been performed over the past few days, but they said they were already married (yeah, duh, Kara), but that they had friends in from out of town that came here specifically to get a marriage license and potentially married. That is so awesome. I’m so proud to live in the San Francisco Bay Area such that the politicians are going out of their way to provide equal rights to all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender.

I asked Gwen about her upcoming journey to LA for the transgender V-Day since it has been a consistent topic on GenderPeace. On the website for V Day, she is listed as one of the presenters, and as she told me, they are also honoring her for all of her great efforts. Congrats Gwen!!! She even gave me a V-Day flyer. I told her I wouldn’t be able to make the event next weekend since I have facial surgery this week. I wish I was able to go since I have a ton of friends going, but hey, facial surgery only rolls around once in your life...and now is my time.

Anyway, even with the slight detour, Claire still wasn’t ready when I reached her apartment, so I just waited outside for her. She was soon down, and we were off to meet Amy for lunch over in Berkeley. Claire took us to a joint called Bongo Burger where she frequented on occasion during some of her college years there. It was definitely pretty good.

We walked around campus, and a packed campus it was for a Sunday. There appeared to be some youth debate competition. None of the students were fazed by any of us three, though, from what I could tell. I’m pretty impressed, but then again, these were the smart kids...the ones that could debate.

After that, we went shopping, of course. I picked up some items for my stay during recovery, as well as a few items for my return to work. After I tired them out from so much shopping, we went for some heavy pizza at a place called Zachary’s that Claire raves about. It was pretty decent, although the wait was incredible. I was done after that. Done as in: tired. Done as in: ready to go home. I dropped both of them off, then cruised home. I still have a lot of cleaning to do in my apartment, as well as putting aside the boy clothes since they are taking up too much room.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Hello world!!!!

Hello world! It’s me! Yep, I’m full time today. Whoo hoo!!!

Actually, I went in to work this morning for a few more hours, just to finish up a few last things. I kinda went in androgenous mode, by simply wearing a big poofy ponytail with baggy women’s jeans, a red Old Navy T-shirt, and my purple zip-up fleece jacket. I didn’t see anyone at work the entire time, but I wasn’t really worried about it anyway.

After that, I went to lunch with Michelle and Brooke down in the South Bay, then cruised back home to take a nap. I set the alarm to go off at 5:45pm, but I forgot to turn the alarm on. Doh! Well, I woke up at 6:30, then called Claire to tell her I was running way behind. I put on a little more “going out” makeup, then picked up Marina on the way to Claire’s. We were initially going to get some pizza, but I talked Claire into Thai food since I was still extremely stuffed from the burrito at lunch. Plus, I think I might grab a personal pizza tomorrow night...artichoke hearts and garlic on one side, with pepperoni and onion on the other. They’re just my favorites. Anyway, getting pizza is on my list of things to do before surgery this coming week. I also want to get up early to watch the sun rise from the local hills, and I also want to see the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. Hmm...what else before surgery. Oh yeah, I’d really like to talk to my sister before, but I don’t know if she will call or not. It’d be nice to hear her voice before I go under...just in case something happens to me. I want her to know that I still love her.

So, after the Thai food we went dancing at The Cherry Bar. It’s a lesbian bar, but there are still a few guys there. Claire figured she’d at least go with me just to make me happy. That was only the second time I’ve been there, but I don’t go there for the women...I just like going there because there isn’t any pressure of men staring at you in some weird lustful manner. I had a total blast on the dance floor, and with the great music they played, I had one of the best times ever. Marina even requested an Outkast song for me, and I had the greatest time dancing my ass off to it. Every once in a while, Claire and Marina would make it out to dance with me. :P I don’t know if it was just knowing that I don’t ever have to go back to doing the guy thing again or what, but I had just this overall happy feeling tonite. I was me. I felt wonderful.

OK, well, it’s actually early into Sunday morning, so I am headed to bed.

Good night world. See ya tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2004



I staggered out of work tonite just after 11pm, right when Claire called me. I still have some more work to finish up before I am out for FFS, so I’ll be heading back in tomorrow morning...but not in boy mode. I figure I’ll do an androgenous mode of some sort. Today is my last day as a guy...period. Tomorrow I am me.

I talked to Claire as I garnished some cash at the ATM, bought some milk and cereal at the grocery store, then found dinner at a Burger King about to close. Double cheeseburger. Yum. OK, yeah, it’s comfort food for putting in some crazy hours at work lately. The past three days I’ve put in 38 hours, which is way more than I’ve worked in three days in quite a while, and not something you really want to do with major surgery approaching. Hopefully, though, we resolved all of the major issues that popped up this week.

Claire laughed at me as I left my ATM cash in my car while buying the milk and cereal, then dealt with me switching back and forth from sorta female voice to male voice when I was going through the drive-thru. I think she even called me a dork in there a few times.

I had a ton of calls on my mobile phone today with people either saying good bye, or those asking how I was doing as I approached surgery. I imagine my phone bill will probably be high with so many calls not in my free minutes time. Oh well, I’d rather hear my friend’s voice than worry about money.

Ok, bed time.

T-Minus Day 1.

Good bye boy-dom. Hello me.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Wild Abandon

Yet another busy day at work. I left there right at 11pm tonite trying to resolve a lot of issues. On one issue, I can’t determine how they are having the problem, nor can I repeat their problem, which to me indicates that the problem lies somewhere else. On the other problem associated with our foreign supplier, I actually dug up an old email from June of last year that told them they needed to resolve the same issue which just reared it’s ugly head. They never did anything to solve the problem. Grrrrrrr! The second problem also has a couple of parts to it, so I’m taking a firm stand on eliminating the foreign made parts from one of our projects. In our conference call with the supplier tonite, Pete, who deals more with the purchasing side of our projects, said I was getting a little too passionate about some of the items, and that it showed. Eh, perhaps so. But what's really bad is when the engineer in the meeting is talking more about the quality of the parts than the manager of the quality systems. Sad.

In an awesome piece of news this morning, and throughout the day, San Francisco began issuing legal wedding licenses. As one proponent this morning indicated, the city was issuing the license, but that they would not force any church or religious organization to perform the weddings. Perhaps that’s what scares most people: that their church would have to accept gay marriages. But they won’t. They can continue their discrimination of the very people that God and Jesus would probably fully accept into their religion. I mean, come on, Jesus was the one who went out of his way to practice diversity and love for all. He was the only one who would help the lepers and people who had been treated badly by society. Anyway, allowing gay marriages would provide the same rights to those that are straight, and prevents discrimination of basic rights. It allows the government to issue a marriage license and, thus, the extension of benefits to loved ones. It doesn’t force religions or churches to provide gay marriages to those they don’t want to marry. I’m sure there are plenty of churches and justices of peace that would provide such service. I mean, what is it going to hurt allowing gay people to get married? Is it going to raise the divorce rate? I don’t think so. Is it going to destroy the sanctity of marriage? Puh leeez....have you watched Jerry Springer lately? There is so much disparity and destruction of relationships on that show, and in everyday life, that gay marriages are not going to change the overall level of marriage sanctity associated with the straight population.

Oh, yeah, I like scanning my horoscope every once in a while, just to read them for fun and a different take on life sometimes. Lately, they seem to say a lot about moving into a different part of my life. Today’s seemed pretty cool as well:

You're the one making all the noise. You have energy to burn. You're like a child in overdrive when all the world is his or her playground. Don't be surprised if children or childlike adults follow you through your day, drawn by the scent of wild abandon that you trail behind you. You used to be one thing, and now you're becoming something else. The spirit of transformation is on the move in your life. You're the instigator of restless change. You nurture anyone who needs a shot of your happiness. You're a free-floating friend to all who would play with you.

How funny, huh? Scent of Wild Abandon...yours at Kara's Perfume Shop, or for best results, just stick close to her for a little while.

Anyway, it’s late, and I am headed to bed. One more day of work...hopefully.

T-Minus Day 2.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Old Smokey

Work has been hectic, hectic, hectic. And I’m not even talking about anything with transition. The problems from last week are still hanging around, and although the products are fine when I analyzed them here, they don’t seem to be performing properly at two different customers. On top of all of that, I am trying to finish off a lot of projects before I am out for a while. On top of that, we’re trying to get everything straightened out with the projects my boss was working on since he is leaving. On top of that, a huge problem popped up with some products made at our foreign production site that were going to be used with our new project. On top of that, I still have regular weekly items to handle. Finally, and this is kinda just a minor item....I’m transitioning from male to female. Ooops...perhaps that is a big one.

Speaking of work, HR has decided to have ‘sensitivity training’ while I am away. I was hoping to come out before I left so that I could begin working on a few items that will need to be completed upon my return...such as email changes, name plate, etc. My HR contact says that she’ll take care of it while I am out. Hey, that sounds good to me.

What I was really hoping for, though, was the chance to say ‘bye’ to some people before I transitioned. I wanted them to be comfortable asking me questions before I looked different. Perhaps I will talk to a few of them before I leave on Friday.

Finally, one good piece of news. I was informed a few weeks ago that I won a digital camera at a conference I attended in LA. It arrived today. It’s an ok digital camera, with 2.0 megapixels. My current camera is 2.1, so I’ll probably just keep it. I still have no idea what I will do with the one I won. Looking on ebay, it could fetch a little over $100, but is it really worth it to do all of that, or do I just find someone who can use it?

T-Minus Day 3

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


Still no word out of the company on how they plan on notifying my employees.

After playing sports with ‘da boys’ yesterday, I was pretty sore. I hadn’t been out in quite a while, and my body paid for it. My arm also felt extremely sore, in the same spot I had my lab tests taken. I rolled up my sleeve to find a nicely sized bruise that I hadn’t spotted at all lately. I looked for a bruise the few days after the blood was “drawn” last week, and I never really spotted anything. It’s rather surprising that it took this long for it to pop up. After FFS, I’m going to be pretty bruised, especially around the eyes. I’ve never had a black eye before, but now I’m going to have two of them. Since this bruise on my arm took so long to develop, I wonder how long it’s going to take me to get over the bruising from FFS.

In a conversation with a TS friend this evening, I was asking her about the whole work and disclosure situation. She described to me how she attempts to explain GID to “straights.” I mean, it’s hard enough figuring this out as a TS, how can “straights” really comprehend what we are going through? I asked her, “How do you explain GID to people who have no concept for gender identity? It’s like trying to explain what ‘red’ is to someone who is blind.” I really don’t see how most non-TS people really might be able to understand us. The best we can hope for is simple tolerance and compassion...and understanding that transitioning is the best solution to our condition.

Mark and I were both working late tonite trying to finish up things before this Thursday. He didn’t realize I would be out for surgery next week, the same time he starts a vacation. He was hesitant at first, but was soon asking a few questions like, “What exactly are they going to do?” So, I explained for him what was involved with FFS. He also asks a funny question in his normal Mark tone, “So, is K... your real name? I mean, for our sake, you could have changed it before you moved out here and we never would have known.”

I told him that was my real name, and then shared with him that my new name would be Kara. He didn’t have a problem with that. He then proceeds to tell me that he had no clue about what was going on.

“But what about all of the questions and comments?” I ask.

He just shook his head and kinda shrugged his shoulders.

T-Minus Day 4

Monday, February 09, 2004

Resolution is not a solution

There was still no resolution at work today on how they want to inform my coworkers. I told them we only have this week, and I’ll be out most of Friday at a vendor.

On a good note, the guy who handles benefits said that I can start my short term disability one day early since I will be seeing the surgeon for a pre-surgical meeting on the day before surgery. Hey, I was going to take a vacation day, but since he said it counts, then well, it counts.

I also took care of the details for both company and state short term disability packages today. What a joy! And with the legal name change finished, yet still no ID card change, it’s kind of a mess. Oh well, as long as my SS# is the same, I think I am fine.

I want to reflect more on my upcoming surgery, but it’s getting too late. I want to talk about the road I’ve taken on my journey to the present, where I’m going, and the few things I want to do before I go under the knife and grinder.

T-minus Day 5.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

My last week as a man

My last week as a man.

I never thought I would finally write those words. Wow. It’s all still sinking in for me. To finally stand on the verge of fulfilling my life’s be just incredible. I’ve never had something of this magnitude finally come together for me.

This Friday is Friday the 13th, so would it not be fitting to have it be my last day as a guy, and to have February 14th be my first day as a girl? Valentine’s Day...a new beginning?

With last week being fairly rough, I basically crashed this weekend. This morning I had brunch with Claire, Amy, and Ally visiting from LA. I talked them into diner food. Speaking of food, I have been craving hot and spicy food all week long. I tried ordering some spicy buffalo chicken thingies for Susan and I last night, but they weren’t that hot. Then I picked up some jalepeno poppers at JITB, but they weren’t that hot either. At the TGSF meeting this afternoon, Brooke and I ran into the grocery store before the meeting to see what I could find that was spicy, but there wasn’t much, so I improvised. It didn’t satisfy my craving either. All week long I’ve also been craving Hot and Sour soup, so Brooke and I had Chinese food after the meeting. I also ordered a spicy plate of chicken, but it seemed tame compared to what I’ve had before. I had Brooke try it just to make sure I wasn’t going numb, and she agreed that it was far from being spicy. This morning, Ally joked that I was pregnant when she heard of my hot and spicy cravings lately. Hah! I wish.

Today is my 12,254th day alive. After today, I only have 5 of them left as a guy. I guess I should count them down.

T-minus Day 6.

Friday, February 06, 2004


I woke up this morning and first thing, I felt a lump on my testicle when I was performing my monthly exam. Yeah, I still check them just to make sure that I don’t develop testicular cancer with the hormones. The lump was near the end of the testicle, but there was other stuff around the lump as well. If I moved the testicle around to a different spot, that lump couldn’t be felt. So, after going over the picture of the internal aspects of a testicle, I noted that it was probably the vas deferens and the epididymis meeting at the bottom side. I’ll continue to monitor the situation, though, as I would prefer to nip potential cancer in the bud early on than fight it later when it’s stronger. Yuck. I still had butterflies in my stomach just thinking I might have cancer.

As I pulled into work today, I realized that my letter to employees was being sent out today. Again, butterflies in my stomach. As I walked to my desk and past people I knew, I thought, “Do they know?” Later on, I found out that upper management didn’t like sending out a letter of disclosure, and that perhaps I should attend a meeting and disclose in front of my peers at that time. So, no letter was issued today, and I only have a week left of work for them to do something. Hopefully they will figure it out before I return. Or as I told Claire tonite, I’ll just walk in and yell, “Hey everyone, ‘I’m a transsexual...anyone wanna see my breasts?”

Claire and I talked for about an hour tonite about my dealings with work, our voices which we both need to work on, the ups and downs of transition, and thinking about transitioning versus not transitioning. Being a transsexual mainly sucks. It’s a lose-lose situation. I can’t have a regular life as a man, yet I can’t have a regular life as a woman, either. It’s just finding the path that sucks least.

I did pig out on comfort food today, though, with a donut between cereal and some leftover Chinese food from the other day for lunch. This afternoon I found some pizza in the breakroom, and heated up two small pieces. Then I grabbed a horrible bag of potato chips and a monster burrito from a local taqueria this evening, followed by an Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Bar for dessert. I know...bad Kara, but hey, the butterflies needed something to eat as well.

OK, I’m horribly tired. I’m physically, psychologically, and emotionally exhausted. I went running tonite, and it picked me up for a while, but that only lasted so long. I am going to sleep in tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll be feeling more energized.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


Last night I was playing with Boobers and I caught my finger in a really weird way. It didn’t hurt last night, but during the night, it started hurting pretty good. I woke up this morning having trouble moving my fourth finger on my left hand, and the knuckle is still swollen tonite, but it is feeling a little better.


I set up another meeting with HR this morning. I get in there right at 8am and she says that the company won’t send out a letter to everyone on campus since it would be a personal letter, and they have a policy against that.

OK, jeez, this is a little bigger than Mr. Johnson divorcing Mrs. Johnson. My transition, although personal, is still going to affect a lot of people. Luckily, she said they would send out a letter to a list of people that I work with. I mentioned the bathroom issue again, along with the need to inform people, more efficiently via email. Hmmm...she pondered this. She wanted to send out the main letter to the company, but Communications was saying no. We’ll see what she says tomorrow when the main letter is supposed to go out.


This afternoon, my boss suggested doing a little off-site activity between me, him, and Robi. Unfortunately, right when we were supposed to head out, we received a phone call about problems with some of our products. Great. So, that cancelled our activity and I spent a few hours trying to figure out the problem, along with figuring out how our QC measures didn’t catch the issue. Tomorrow, I'll hopefully resolve the issue, or find that we have a whole new problem. Fun.


Since today was the day before the company letter announcement of some sort, I decided to disclose to Coworker Mark. I thought about really playing with his mind, but I just wrote out a little letter. I also wrote “The answer to where I am going” on it, then gave it to him as he was headed home. I told him to read it later. About 10 minutes later, my phone rings. It’s Mark. He asks if I am pulling his leg. Nope. So, he then says that he has no problem with my transition if that’s what I need to do. He then apologized for all of the comments he’s made in the past. I told him not to worry about it...that I kinda looked forward to them.


I went to give blood tonite for the regular lab check-up. I used to have these huge veins that popped out of my arm, but I’ve noticed with the hormones that they don’t stand out as much as they used to. Anyway, she slides the needle into my left arm, but way off the usual mark. She rummages around, jabbing it back and forth, in and out...and not much blood. She tries to fill the second tube, and takes it a little too deep.

“OUCH!” I exclaim.

“Oh, did that hurt?”

“Uh, Y E A H!”

So, she pulls out the needle and says we need to try the other arm. Great. So, she digs into the right arm and seems way off on location again. She had to fight with the depth of the needle a little, but finally got enough blood. I’m going to be bruised tomorrow in at least one arm.

What a pain in the arse.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Three fortunes, one future.

I haven’t been feeling the best the past few days with some sort of cold messing with my throat and sinuses. So, for lunch today, I prodded Robi to get some Chinese so I could eat some soothing Hot and Sour Soup. I love the stuff normally, but find it blows Chicken Noodle out of the water when it comes down to tackling a cold.

We picked up some makeup for her at one of the counters, while on the way over there she recommended trying Prescriptive. I have a ton of MAC stuff, but I’m still not that impressed with their foundation. I need one that can cover the darkness in my upper lip but still not cake up. I doubt anyone really makes such an item.

Anyway, I chowed down on the soup and felt much better. I also ate some of the spicy chicken entrees I ordered. Going for the fortune cookie, I found three fortunes hidden inside, which I always find kinda amusing to read:

1. An unexpected windfall will soon be yours. Does that mean that FFS turns out great?

2. A friend will be important to you and your forthcoming success. Do Mom’s count?

3. Be careful not to overspend. Ouch, well now they tell me after I pay Dr. O the down payment. Actually, I don’t mind investing in the rest of my long as it turns out decent.

On the drive back to the office, we started talking about glitter. I told her about the hairspray I used for the Cotillion that had glitter in it, and that I tried it on my arms as well, just to get the glittery look under the lights. Robi turns to me and says, “I didn’t even know they had hair spray with glitter in it.”

I had dinner with KateW from GP and the rest of the usual suspects. Another visitor, another dinner date. We ate some tapas at a little restaurant on the northern side of San Francisco. It was KateW, Brooke who rode up with me, Tyler, Claire, “JoanB”, and myself. Amy wasn’t able to make it due to some school work. I don't think I'm that big on tapas....not enough food, plus it's too damn expensive.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Practicing for FFS?

My electro was able to squeeze in 1.5 hours on me tonite. Unfortunately for me, I forgot my pain killers, so it was back to the old days of feeling every little ounce of pain. It’s ok, I grabbed some comfort food on the way home.

It reminds me, on Saturday, my electro had her hand on my one good nostril (a deviated septum prevents me from breathing that well through the other nostril), so I turned my head a little to take the pressure off my nose. Soon, her hand was on my nose again, so I turned a little more. Again, her hand found my nose, so I said, “Yo, your hand is squeezing my one good nostril to breathe through!”

She chuckled and says, “Oh, I thought your nose was a hand rest.”

Yes or No?

I was filling out a visit survey for Kaiser that was addressed to Kara since my therapist recently changed my name in the system, along with the M to an F. So, down at the bottom of the survey it asks: “Do you have a physician or nurse practioner whom you see for most of your gynecological care?” Hmmm....they didn’t have a Not Applicable answer, so I just filled out the No box. That one will be a new one for me next year.

What are the odds?

I picked up Claire and Amy in the city, then drove them back to my place. We needed to drop by the grocery store, so I picked the one closest to where I live. I was in half girl mode since I hadn’t put my makeup on yet, but I still had the hair and clothes looking girlish, to a degree. As we drove there, I told Claire and Amy that “there was only one co-worker that I knew of that lived close to me, and the odds of running into him where pretty small.”

So, we’re in the store when I see a former co-worker walk in the front door. Great! So, I head toward the check-out aisles to get out of there before she recognizes me. As soon as I get there, I spot a current co-worker and turn tail again. Doh! Me and my stupid mouth. I handed off my stuff to Claire then boogied to my car where I sat until Claire and Amy came out. Whew! Well, I have less than 3 days until the company letter goes out, but I just didn’t want some bad rumors going around before it comes out.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Keeping it super

I invited a number of friends over for the Super Bowl yesterday, including some who had never seen me as Kara before. Pete, his wife, and their son, along with Erica, Dreu, and Debbie, had their first view of me in “girl mode.” Claire, Amy, Marina, Kathy, and Diana were all at the Cotillion last week, and over spending time with the two first place losers, as I call both Damon and myself. Damon sent me an email this past week wondering what I was doing for the Super Bowl, so I invited him over. I also received an email from Bob, an old college friend, who said he had just moved into the Bay Area. He and I participated on the same sports team what seems like so long ago. He said he was 30 now, and wow, he was like the little kid when I was the old person on the team. Anyway, I invited him over since I knew he probably didn’t have anywhere else to go. It was good to see him again.

I’ll keep it simple: we pigged out.

Afterward, a few of us watched a little Survivor All-Stars, and a Survivor video application I dug up after there were numerous inquiries into my past attempt to be on the show. So...we watched the old me speak for 3 minutes. The recording was about 8-9 months before I began reaching the beginning of my “self awareness” or initial “crisis point,” whatever you want to call that point when you start to address your GID.

Today, I had one of the guys that usually plays sports at lunch stop by my cubicle and say, “ahhhh...this is your hiding spot. We haven’t seen you the past few months. We’re all waiting for the big day.”

“The big day?” I ask thinking my rumor has escaped a few days early.

“Yeah. The time you come out again. We’re ready for you now.”

“Oh.” How symbolic, huh?....considering my letter to the company goes out this Friday.

It’s been hard to hide the breast growth the past few months, plus I have been pretty busy at work. Perhaps I will go out on Wednesday since I won’t be able to play anything for 9 months to a year after FFS, and just hope that they don’t notice the boobs.

Speaking of work again, my boss Y and I were in a bi-weekly meeting last week and via our conversation, I could tell he was going to announce that he was leaving the company for another job. He confirmed it and said he was giving his two week notice on Friday, thus making his last day at work my last day at work before FFS. Doh! That leaves Robi all by herself for almost a month. She didn’t like that news on Friday when Y told her...making it her “worst day ever.”

Finally, I was going to get in a little electro cleanup tonite, but my electro called to give me the good news and the bad news. The good news is that our friend Rachel had successful SRS this morning and was doing fine. The bad news was that her wife (more legal than an actual relationship) was freaking out. My electro said she would probably have to do some “hand holding” later on and said she couldn’t commit to working on me tonite. I told her no problem, of course, with her saying we might be able to get some time in tomorrow night...which is pushing my pre-FFS electro rule.

When talking to my electro, I asked what took so long for the wife to come to the realization that Rachel was taking what some consider to be the final step. I mean, Rachel hasn’t looked like a guy for quite a while and she’s already had a boob job and years of hormones. I guess this last step was just too much for her.

As I was making dinner tonite, I pulled a glass out of the cupboard to pour some leftover soda from the Super Bowl party. As I did, I spotted the writing on the glass. It said “#1 Brother.” The glass was a gift from my sister a long time ago. I wonder if she is going through the same thing that Rachel’s wife is going through...the loss of the male they once knew. Hopefully she will be able to see it the same way that Pete expressed it last night, “You’re still the same just look a little different.”