Thursday, October 29, 2009

I've been failing in my blog duties

Sorry for the long break. I could say that I've been busy, which is true, but I'm fairly lazy.

Last Tuesday I had my first full face laser treatment. I chose not to do anything for the pain during the procedure, aside for the ice numbing before each section is done. It hurts, there's no way around it. I think it's just one of those things that you suffer through, since the result is worth it. The technician said that I was very tolerant of the pain, but that my skin was sensitive. I stayed after my appointment to keep an ice pack on my face. Then I went to a drugstore to buy aloe vera gel. The pain after was very manageable, but the aloe did feel nice. There was some redness, but the swelling was confined to the under chin/jaw area. So it almost looked like I had a double chin. The tingling was gone the next day, but I've had lots of acne since. I haven't been shaving much, to let the zapped hairs get pushed out. That started to happen today.

Since I was a bit worried about pain, I did a little drinking before, but not enough to help. The real drinking started after I got out of the laser clinic. I had brought a mickey of vodka along. (a 375 mL bottle, or about 13 oz) I nearly finished that over the next five hours or so. This meant I was pretty drunk all evening, which may have been a poor choice. I met about half the people from my class at a theatre and we saw a play. Nobody mentioned my redness. I was pretty emotional before; for some reason I was crying while waiting for everybody to get there. I think I was very friendly to one of my colleagues, but I don't think it crossed the line into flirty. After, another colleague offered me the use of her couch, since it would have taken me an hour to get to my car and another hour to get home. (although obviously I wouldn't have driven drunk no matter what) This girl is a lesbian. I knew pretty much as soon as I met her. Since I had lowered inhibitions, I came out to her. She was supportive, but we haven't talked about it since. When I woke I was so disoriented. I basically didn't know where her apartment was beyond a general area. Somehow, my intuition was enough to lead me to a Skytrain station.

Yesterday I had my first appointment with the endocrinologist. I got a prescription for estrogen, (patch form) progesterone(he asked me if I had an opinion about this, I didn't) and a real dose of spironolactone. Since my last therapist appointment, I had decided that there was little point in starting on spiro with no E. I asked the endo how long before the physical changes will be harder to hide. Unfortunately that is not predictable. I'm not going to commit to a timeline, but transition in April, August, or December 2010 are the dates on the table. It depends on physical and behavioural changes, as well as scheduling. It would be unwise to transition in the middle of my long practicum next year. I realise that when I apply for my first teaching jobs in 2011 that all the references will be in my current name, which means that I'll be outed to the administrator who is hiring as well as the school district. I can live with that. What I don't think I could live with is being a substitute teacher who doesn't pass. Teenagers can be quite cruel. The endo also ordered a blood test, which I got first thing this morning. (if you don't know, you have to fast beforehand) That was the first time in my life that I'd had blood taken. It was really easy. I barely felt the needle go in, and watched three vials fill without getting squeamish. The endo had put "F" on the blood request form. That's the first time I've seen my name associated with the "F". It was a nice feeling. But the "F" meant that the nurse at the lab asked me why it was there. Without saying anything I pointed to the comments line that said "MTF transsexual." She apologized, and I said it was no problem. I will have to get used to that kind of thing happening. I think I have a thick skin. (Yeah, I know, it's easy to say that now...)

As an aside, my mood has generally been good. I am happy to be in a high school, on a short practicum. But going to school makes appointments and stuff hard. Yesterday I had to leave early to go to the endo. Tuesday I have another laser appointment. Two weeks seems way too short of an interval. Perhaps they are just trying to get money. I will make the next one four weeks away. I've already paid for the next three since there was a sale on.

All for now!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hair removal

Well, I am taking more steps on this journey!

I had a test patch for laser hair removal done on Tuesday. I also booked an appointment for next week. Some people reading this likely have certain questions that I may be able to answer.

Pain: Hell yes. It's often described as a rubber band being snapped on your skin. I'd describe it as a mix of that and being pricked by a pin, only a "sharper" pain. Now, pain is different to compare or explain, but I think I have a relatively high pain tolerance. In the first ten seconds after my leg lacerations I was more upset about the scars that will be red for at least a year or two than the pain. I watched closely as the ER doctor put the freezing needle in my skin parallel to my wounds. It didn't bother me at all. The laser pain was very "sharp", not the dull pain of pressing on a bruise. Each "zap" hurts for only a very short time. There was only one zap that made me breathe in. She did a patch sort of under my chin and another on the upper lip. Oddly enough, it hurt more under the chin than on the lip.

Redness: the reddish on my upper lip went away by the next day, but the patch under my chin is still red and rough-feeling five days later. I think it will be quite noticeable when I get my whole face done next week. (I am going to a play with my class two hours after my appointment!) There isn't much I can do about that. I suppose I will just have to be vague and not answer any questions about it.

I'm not sure what kind of reduction I should hope for.

Question: Is there anything I can do for the pain other than Emla cream? I will be on a bus for the hour or so before my appointment, so I don't want plastic wrap all over my face! Would a normal painkiller like ibuprofen do anything? Or how about a few shots of hard liquor? I know it won't be pleasant no matter what...


I think that it may have been a mistake to stay living where I am now. I don't have as much of a connection here. I hardly have any friends; none that I see once a week or two. I don't like living in my old room, in the house I grew up in. I don't like imposing on my sister and brother-in-law. Last week I spent two nights sleeping elsewhere, for the sake of convenience.

If an opportunity arises, I may move in December. Otherwise, I still would like to move in May 2010.


On Friday I did something "out of my comfort zone." I went to a party at one of my classmate's. Normally I don't like going to parties at which I don't know what will happen. What I mean by that is that I like to know who will be there and what events are planned. But I did go, and had lots of fun. We played Rock Band and later played a drinking game. I should make more of an effort to do things other than sit at home on the net or seeing movies alone.