3/24/17

So to follow up on my past surgeries and all last summer, in mid-October I had a second major surgery with a new doctor at a new hospital (since my first urologist decided there was nothing wrong with me even though I was leaking urine from my vagina for 3 months) and she found not only one, but two fistulas, and a displaced ureter.  She repaired the fistulas vaginally, but the ureter required her to go back in through my abdomen wound from my hysterectomy.  I was so nervous the night before surgery I didn’t sleep and I stayed up all night watching Titanic lol.  Of course then once I got to the hospital I was exhausted so after the surgery I slept all day/night into the next morning.  I stayed for 4 days in the hospital because I immediately started walking and moving around which gave me permission to go home.  My dad came to visit me on Wednesday which was really nice.  I was in excruciating pain though because I told my doctor since I’m an addict I didn’t want any opiates, because I got hooked so fast over the summer and had a really hard time coming off them.

So I got Tylenol and Tramadol which did jack shit for me but oh well.  The first day they wanted me to sit up in bed and move to the chair in my room and I physically could not and I was crying.  Each day got a bit easier, but then I started bleeding from my vagina and had to put a stupid pad on again which was quite dysphoria inducing and upsetting to me.  It took a few weeks but I finally stopped leaking liquid out of that fucking hole.  I had to keep the catheter in for another 4 weeks and got a few more UTIs of course (just my luck).  14 weeks total with a catheter…NEVER. AGAIN. Seriously the absolutely worst thing ever.

I then had to move but couldn’t lift anything so thankfully I had some awesome friends who offered to help and I really love my new apartment.  I’m really close to the trolley which gets me to everything.  This month (March) I went back to work for the first time since 2013, and I’m really happy about that.  I’m working 2 days a week, 2 days at vocational rehab for my brain injury, and therapy once a week.

I have a lot on my mind but I can’t really focus right now so I’m gonna leave it at this.

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9/27/16

Welp, it’s been almost a year since I updated this sucker apparently.  A lot has happened this summer, I almost died from complications to a hysterectomy and I’m still dealing with medical problems 2 months later.

I had a complete hysterectomy scheduled for July 18.  My best friend came with me because my mom didn’t want to come, which really upset me.  But more about that in a bit.  The surgery itself was a success, but during the surgery my surgeon nicked my bladder.  Apparently this is a known risk for a hysterectomy (regarding the potential lawsuit I’m trying to put together) and so my surgeon figured this out right away (they run a camera through the bladder at the end of the hysto to make sure it’s not been nicked) and he called the urology team in to repair it.  Apparently it took them a few tries, and then they ran a dye called methelyne (sp?) blue through my kidneys.  Well it turns out that particular dye does not interact well with psych meds, which I was on quite a heavy dose.  My psychologist works at this same hospital so I know my med list was there for them.  I developed what’s called Seratonin Syndrome, and my kidneys failed.  I was put on a ventilator and dialysis for 72 hours (don’t know how long I was on the ventilator for).  I completely lost a week and a half, although I do remember some of my halleucinations, and I remember trying to bite the staff members so they had to sedate and restrain me.

When I came to on July 27th, I thought I was in Florida lol.  My brother had come to the hospital (he lives in Miami but he was up visiting our parents) and for some reason seeing him in my delirium made me think I was in Florida.  Now I can laugh about it but at the time I was really confused and didn’t know that I was in the hospital.  When I came to I couldn’t read or write and had a really hard time putting sentences together to talk to people.  An occupational therapist started working with me right away and slowly it came back.  After a second week in a step down unit (first week was in ICU) they sent me to the rehab that’s in a different building of the hospital where I received PT and OT for a week before being discharged home.

I was sent home with a catheter in that I had to have for 7 FUCKING WEEKS in order for my bladder to heal.  It was the worst thing ever I can’t even begin to explain how terrible it was.  Right from the start I was leaking urine from around the catheter site (coming out of my vagina) and I had to start wearing adult diapers.  I’m STILL wearing adult diapers because I’m still leaking non-stop.  My surgeon said I have a fistula.  I’ve had 4 imaging studies done and not one has shown a fistula, so I’m seeking a second opinion next Monday at a different hospital with an urologist who specializes in female anatomy.  This whole thing is also kind of making me dysphoric.

I got a UTI with chills and a fever while in rehab and it was most likely due to the catheter.  After being home for about a week, I started to notice blood in my urine.  I called my urologist and they said it was probably just from all the walking I do (I don’t have a car and take public transportation so I walk a lot) and the catheter rubbing against my urethra or whatever, so just drink more water and flush it out.  Well a few days later I woke up with excrutiating pain in my abdomen and back right where my kidney is.  I tried to deal with it throughout the day and ended up going to the emergency room that afternoon.  They said I had another UTI and they kept me overnight for observation, gave me a dose of IV antibiotics and sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics.  I took them for a full week, my urine was so full of blood it was almost black at times and a week later I started having chills again and back pain so I ended up at a different ER and they said I had a dual kidney infection and that the UTI had spread to my kidneys.  They kept me for 4 days and gave me 9 rounds of IV antibiotics.  I then took a different antibiotic for 10 days and FINALLY everything cleared up (I also got the catheter taken out right after that hospital stay).

So about my mom, right?  She refused to take time off from work even though I had given her plenty of advanced notice and that really hurt because I felt she didn’t want to come because it was related to me being trans.  Well when I was in the ICU, my surgeon said she and my dad and my brother were there every single day.  They drove 2.5 hours each way and went home and came back the next day.  Then once I got moved to the step down unit they came ever 2-3 days (she did have to work).  It’s really changed our relationship (me almost dying…) and it sucks it had to come to this but I’m really happy.  We talk almost every day now and things seem so much better.

This summer has really sucked.  Like, really.  Sucked.  I didn’t get to the beach once, and I didn’t get to Six Flags once.  Those two things are my summer goals to get to each at least once.  And there’s a new roller coaster at Six Flags this year, The Joker, which I totally want to check out but I’m going to have to wait until next summer.  Oh well, it will still be there.  I did get to do a musical over the past 2 weeks, my surgeon said I could start playing the week rehearsal started.  So add Evita to the list of shows I’ve done.  It was a lot of fun, and although I may have to cancel because I might need more surgery regarding the fistula, I’m supposed to do Chicago at the end of October which I really want to do plus my friend is playing Velma.  So yeah, that’s what’s been going on over the past few months.  A lot more has happened, most importantly I graduated with my masters in May!  Just need to get a frame for my diploma.  Oh and on July 27th I celebrated 4 years clean and sober 🙂

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11/16/15

So like I tend to do I tend to forget about this blog but I ended up here tonight.  A lot has happened since my last update.  I did spend a week in the psych hospital in September and I managed to get caught up with my school work pretty quickly.  Both of my professors were really understanding and told me to take as much time as I needed to get caught up.

Still dealing with a lot of medical issues.  The nosebleeds have stopped since the second cauterization, but my doctor decided he wants to do surgery and clip the main artery in my left nostril.  That is scheduled for the beginning of December.  I have to get bloodwork and a CT scan done before that so that stuff is scheduled in the coming weeks.  My mom is taking off from work for 2 days and we’re getting a hotel for the night so she can take care of me.  What’s interesting about that is how quickly she said she would take off from work for my nose surgery, yet when I brought up the hysterectomy she refused to get off from work.  Her transphobia is showing.  My psych wants me to write her a letter about that but I’m scared.

I also had an audiogram done last week because my hearing has been getting really bad over the past number of years.  I did poorly on the exam and apparently I qualify for a hearing aid in my right ear.  My doctor wants to have an MRI done first so that is scheduled for next week.  The good news is my jaw is doing much better as is the BIPAP treatments.  I’m not dealing with as much bloating and gas now.  I hate using the machine though but I sleep so much better when I use it.  My sleep doctor did mention doing surgery but apparently it’s quite invasive and doesn’t always fix sleep apnea.  I know if I was to lose weight that would help but I’m just too fucking lazy.

I’m also fighting my insurance company to get a hysterectomy covered.  The plan was to do it this past summer, and initially my insurance company never said “No”, but then they changed their minds and said that getting a hysterectomy is considered sex reassignment surgery in their eyes, which it’s totally not.  It’s preventative care.  I’ve been on testosterone for 7 years and ovarian cancer runs in my family, and being on T puts me at a greater risk for that sort of cancer.  So I appealed and had to go to a hearing and they didn’t tell me that it was going to be like a trial, and the insurance company sent a fucking LAWYER and they expected me to “cross examine” the medical director of Medicaid WTF I was almost crying.  So of course I fucked that up.  So now my doctor found a lawyer who is a trans woman and she works specifically with trans clients and we met 2 weeks ago and she is going to have me be a part of a huge lawsuit she is filing on behalf of trans clients in the state!  So this is fucking BIG.  So we’ll see where this takes us.

I got really suicidal in September one night and started cutting again.  I got in touch with my therapist and she highly recommend I go to the crisis center at the hospital so I did.  They took me to the psych hospital and I spent a week there.  I lost 14 lbs because the food was horrendous.  I definitely think it helped and my doctor in the hospital and I talked a lot about the DBT program and he said he will be my psychiatrist while I do the program and he really wants me to do it or he’ll just continue to see me in the hospital.  I know I need to do it, I’m just scared about not having my own doctors.  I have agreed to do it, but I am putting it off until June because the therapist I’d have is a student and he graduates in May so I’d have to switch doctors midway through which I don’t want to do.  So that gives me more time with my own doctors and to get prepared for the program.

Oh the good news is the cancer scare was not cancer, it was scar tissue apparently.  Must have been from biting my tongue one too many times.  But the doctor said because I used to smoke he will need to continue to check me for this stuff.  Great.  Oh and by the way a tongue biopsy fucking HURTS.  It took so long to heal too.

School is going well, I am scheduled for my final grad school project next semester and I registered for graduation!  The fucked up thing I found out a few months ago though is that my younger sister is graduating from undergrad the same weekend as me in Florida, and even though I told my parents the date of mine well before my sister did, they’ve decided they’re going to her graduation and not mine, and they really don’t seem to care and don’t understand why I’m so upset about it!!  They told me to get over it because they came to my undergraduate graduation.  They did, under protest, because I had just come out as trans and they didn’t want to go so they refused to come and I nearly killed myself the night before my graduation.  But they deny that ever happened.  Fuck that.  I am hopefully going to have my aunt come but I don’t even want to go without my parents being there.  I mean, they fucking paid for school.  And they should realize how much shit I went through with my mental illness to get through school with a 3.80 GPA.  I see how it is though.

I’m really struggling with my finances right now.  This woman from a mental health company that my case worker set me up with is helping me with my finances and she added up all of my expenses from September-October, apparently I spent $910 on eating out at restaurants.  WHAT.  That’s more money than I get from disability.  So we’re trying some things to cut down on that but I’m just struggling with it so much.  And my friend was like “Just stop”.  No, it’s not like that.  I wish it was.  She told me to stop using my mental health as an excuse and that really pissed me off.  I have no coping skills and I can’t control my behavior, I really can’t.  I would if I could.

On top of all of this a dear friend passed away last Tuesday.  He was only 30 years old and he had a heart attack and went into a coma and never came out of it.  Too damn young.  I went to the funeral on Saturday, it was very nice but very sad.  We’re too young to be burying our friends.

That’s about all that’s going on right now.  I’ll post again in 3 months lol.

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8/27/15

Where to start, where to start… life has been shitty and I feel like shit.  How’s that for a start?  Things are different compared to when I was super depressed a few years ago though, but it’s a different kind of shitty.  The fact that my life is in a deep dark hole that I’m never going to get out of so why bother going on sort of shitty.  I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So first there’s the consistently piling of medical problems.  I see more doctors than I know what to do with.  I’ll be 30 in November and I have so many chronic medical issues I’m tired of it.  First there’s all the mental health shit.  Then there’s the high blood pressure, that started in 2011.  I’m on two medications for that and it’s generally controlled, although the other day it was 146/100, but lately it’s been about 110/85.  Tied in with that is all the nosebleeds.  I started seeing an ENT and I’ve had my left nostril cauterized twice in the past 3 weeks.  That FUCKING HURTS.  The first time my doctor numbed my nose with local anesthetic (5 injections into my nose, OUCH) and then he used electricity and heat to cauterize it.  I had tears streaming down my face (wasn’t crying, just my body’s reaction).  Then it kept bleeding so I had to go back, and this time he used silver nitrate and only numbed my nose with a mist, so basically I felt everything.  He said if it continues I’m going to need surgery.  I go back in 3 weeks and I’ve had 3 nosebleeds since.  Also with the ENT I’ve now been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  I was using a CPAP machine and while it was definitely helping me sleep, it was giving me nonstop bloating and gas.  So the doctor wanted to switch me to BIPAP but I had to have another sleep study done, so now I’m on BIPAP and that is supposed to stop the bloating and gas. Only it hasn’t. So there’s that.  And tied in with that is the fact that the face mask I wear for the breathing machine has fucked up my TMJ in my jaw so badly it was locked for 2 weeks and I can barely eat.  Literally the entire city of Philadelphia gave me the runaround when it came to finding an oral surgeon to help me, I was on the phone for hours.  My stupid insurance company was giving me doctors who didn’t take my insurance (what?) or doctors who had retired in 2004.  That’s not helpful.  But I finally found someone.  And he told me he wants me on a soft diet for 4-6 weeks (hasn’t happened), shave my beard because it will help with the placement of the face mask (won’t happen) and he gave me some pain killers that my insurance company refuses to cover.  He also said I’m not allowed to play trombone right now, and the new concert season for my band just started.  So that’s all just wonderful.  I was also diagnosed with high cholesterol this year and put on medication for that.  My weight has gone up to 220 (although it seems to be stable at that and not going any higher) but I really don’t give a shit about exercising or eating right because I just don’t give a shit about myself.

Then there’s the mental health shit.  Right.  Well my mood has been all over the place.  I went hypomanic a few weekends ago and was trolling the internet for sex, started chatting with this guy who ended up being crazy and thank god we didn’t meet up.  He flipped out on me because I didn’t want to take a selfie of myself at the beach when I told him 5 times I had left the beach and was in a restaurant.  He accused me of “catfishing him”.  He was also my father’s age – something I find gross and would never do except I was manic.  The anger is completely out of control.  I want to fight everyone I see.  I am literally feeling homicidal I think I want to put myself into the hospital but I just have so much shit going on right now regarding medical stuff I just don’t have the time.  My therapist said I’m teetering on the line of her wanting to commit me herself but I haven’t said something quite bad enough I guess.  We’ll see what tomorrow’s session brings.  My psychiatrist recommended DBT to me again, something I tried to get into years ago but could never find an open program.  Well it turns out her hospital has an open program right now, great.  But I was told I will not be allowed to see my therapist or psychiatrist during this program.  The program is a year long.  I can’t go that long without seeing either of them, especially my psych.  She promised me we will continue to see each other, as did my therapist.  I don’t give a shit what this program thinks, my therapist and psychiatrist are my only support system and I need them.  I go for my intake next Thursday.

School just started, I’m taking 2 classes, another reason why I don’t want to go into the hospital right now.  I’m almost done with my masters, after these 2 classes I just have my thesis next semester.  I really don’t want to fuck it up right now like I did a few years ago and ended up failing a class.

I’m really lonely, I don’t have any friends anymore.  I occasionally chat with people on Facebook, but other than that I don’t see anybody outside of band rehearsals.  I’m tired of not having friends but at the same time socializing takes too much out of me.  And people I used to talk to don’t talk to me anymore.  I feel like everybody hates me.  All I do is spend money on shit I don’t need.  I have no control over my impulsivity.

Oh and on top of that when I went to the oral surgeon he said he noticed a few white spots in my mouth and when I go back next Tuesday he wants to check them for cancer because I used to smoke.  You don’t say the C-word to somebody with extreme anxiety and then say “See you in 2 weeks”.  My psychiatrist said they’re probably just canker sores and she’s probably right but I don’t want to think about that.  Although I guess then I could just die and be on my merry way.

I just don’t fucking care anymore.  I’m tired of wasting time and money trying to better myself when nothing works.  I’m tired of pretending to be okay.  I’m tired of faking it and acting like I’m feeling better when I’m really not.  I just want to give up.

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8/9/15

It’s been 15 years since I was first diagnosed with depression and 3 years since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it will never go away. I don’t know what it’s like to feel human. I don’t know what it’s like to feel good. I don’t even know who *I* am because my depression started so young and at a key developmental stage in my life I’ve only known myself as someone with mental illness and being nearly 30 years old feels like it’s too late to create someone new. Every day is the same thing over and over again. Wake up, Facebook, doctor appointments, Facebook, bed. Do it all over again. All the people I thought cared about my ditched me in my greatest time of need, leaving me alone by myself with my thoughts, and my head is a dangerous place to be. My parents don’t understand it and think that if I just “smile more” I’ll feel better. I’m tired of the idea that I’ll have to be medicated for the rest of my life just to stay alive. Sometimes all I want is someone to give me a hug and tell me everything is going to be alright, even if it isn’t. ‪#‎TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs‬ living it every day.

https://www.distractify.com/racheldicker-difficult-truths-about-depression-1288354186.html

I don’t even know what I want anymore or who I am.  I am just tired of feeling this way.  My anger is so out of control.  I was having a really nice weekend and I went out to lunch and I was driving home and this woman cut me off like seriously cut me off and nearly ran me off the road and she fucking knew I was there and then she flipped me off and I just lost it she even had a kid in the car and I just didn’t care.  I go from 0 to like 1,000 in a flash and I don’t know why or how.  I’m terrified I am going to end up harming or killing somebody and going to jail and ruining my life and having to live with the guilt of that for the rest of my life.  I don’t want to be like this.  I’m going to be assessed for a traumatic brain injury (between the concussion I got in 2011 and the non-stop beating of myself since childhood) but they couldn’t fit me in until the end of October.  I’m completely out of control and the outbursts come without warning it’s not even like I feel myself starting to get angry and I can calm myself down.

For the past few weeks I thought about going back to the hospital but at the same time there’s really nothing they can do for me.  My psychiatrist wants to get me into DBT, which I’ve been trying to for years but all the programs are always full.  So we’re going to try again.  I know it’s really helpful for people like me.

I don’t know right now…that’s all I can think of to write.  I’m just feeling really bad right now.

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Falling Apart

Everything feels like it’s come to a halt today, or over the past week.  I feel like I am falling apart and spinning out of control and that the world won’t stop and I just want to get off.  I’m exhausted and I’m tired of faking a smile and pretending that I’m okay.  I just had to do that for 4 days while visiting my family in New York and I came home and crashed and slept for 14 hours that night.  This was a better visit for me though compared to the past few times I drove to Rochester where I immediately crashed after getting there and slept the whole weekend I was there and isolated myself in my room at my aunt’s house.  At least this time I was able to be social.  It was a nice trip, I enjoy spending time with my family, but I just had so much on my mind and nobody to talk to.

So let’s start with today’s crushing news.  So far everything regarding my upcoming hysterectomy was going great.  The insurance company did not say no initially, and they requested a letter of medical necessity from my psychiatrist, and she submitted that on Monday.  My mom has agreed to come for my surgery, granted I am able to schedule it in September since she can’t get off of work in August.  So today I was having a decent day, went out to lunch, then around 4:45 I get a phone call from my insurance company.  They have decided to decline my hysterectomy.  WHAT. THE. FUCK. Why wait til now?  Why not deny it initially and not let me build up all this fucking hope?  I started bawling on the phone and I honestly think the woman felt bad for me.  I was unable to breathe when I hung up the phone and I was shaking and I started punching myself in the head while bawling my eyes out.  I immediately called my doctor and he actually answered instead of his receptionist, and he already knew, and he actually calmed me down really fast and told me that he will not be taking no for an answer, and that he is going to fight and advocate for me until it goes through because it is unacceptable to him that they rejected this.  He said he is going to call first thing in the morning and request to speak to the medical director of my insurance company.  He also said he is going to personally call Rachel Levine, PA’s new physician general who also happens to be a trans woman.  I am on state insurance, so that is something that she would have control over.  So I am feeling a bit calmer now, but I am still devastated.  I know it’s not over yet, but I just wish I hadn’t gotten my hopes up this high.

So on top of that I seem to have been abandoned by my best friend, the one I’ve written about in the past with the abusive husband.  I think I wrote about her husband following us to a restaurant back in February(?) maybe March.  He made a big scene and then threw her out of the house and then got my phone number and started calling me and it was a huge mess and well apart from one night in June where we took her son to his first concert but it was too much for him (he has autism) so she took him down by the food court so I didn’t even see her, we haven’t hung out or seen each other since that night at the restaurant.  So one night she messages me on Facebook and asks if I’m disappointed in her and I didn’t know what she meant so I asked her to clarify, and she asked if I was disappointed in her as a friend.  I said no, but I miss her a lot and wish we could see each other more.  Her explanation was that “I make her happy, and I’m the only thing that makes her happy, and she’s relied on me too much in the past and she has to get used to the fact that her life is not happy and she just can’t be around me anymore”.  I was crying so much I felt so hurt.  I know thinking rationally this is her husband coming out of her mouth, that he has convinced her after 15 years of abuse that she does not deserve good things or things that make her happy, but I feel like I’m being abandoned or dumped, just like I was by all my other so-called friends in the past.  So then on top of that, months ago we had made plans for this upcoming weekend to celebrate my 3rd sobriety anniversary, as we celebrated my first two together as well.  Well last week she canceled on me.  She said she doesn’t feel safe leaving her son alone with her husband, which I understand.  But I still feel sad and hurt.  But part of me also feels like I’m being selfish.  My mom said I’m allowed to feel sad though.  I’ve been feeling so hurt I haven’t talked to her since last Wednesday now.  I am scared I am going to say something I regret.  I don’t want to be mean to her but I am so impulsive I don’t always think before I speak, so right now I think it’s better if I don’t say anything at all.

So now I’m basically down to 0 friends.  I have acquaintances, yes, and on occasion after band rehearsal I might go out to dinner with some of them, but they’re not people I can call when I need help or when I’m feeling depressed/suicidal.  Now I have nobody to call when I’m feeling that way.  I feel so alone right now.  I feel like shit and that nobody likes me and it’s all because I am so fucked up mentally.  In fact my therapist wants me to be evaluated for a traumatic brain injury because she thinks I might have one from beating myself in the head over all these years on top of a concussion in 2011.  How the fuck am I supposed to explain that one to my family?  They already don’t want to talk about my mental illness and they think I’m fucking nuts.  I’m so ashamed of myself and embarrassed of who I am and what I’ve done to myself over the course of my life.

So on top of all of this I got to spend my entire weekend (Friday-Monday) with my family as they drank themselves silly.  While my mom’s family is nicer when they drink, they still drink a lot.  My brother played “bartender” and was making all sorts of cocktails for himself and my uncle, and it was really triggering to be around because it was nonstop and he was making lots of gin and tonics which was my drink back when I was drinking.  I don’t know how to speak up for myself when I’m feeling uncomfortable, but I also feel that I shouldn’t be imposing my fucked up needs on my entire family when they are trying to have fun.  At least I found a sober friend who is going to celebrate with me this weekend for my anniversary, so I am going to try to have fun doing that.  He and I haven’t seen each other in a few years even though we communicate online frequently, so that will be nice to see him.

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Don’t Even Know Where to Start

I’ve been doing some writing outside of WordPress but not much.  My mood has been all over the place but mostly sticking in the anger/rage/mania? state.  Anger/rage to the point my therapist asked me if I thought I needed to be institutionalized somewhere because am I going to hurt myself or somebody else.  I have too much going on right now I really don’t have the time for another meltdown.  This is the new therapist I started with back in March, and she is determined to find the source of my anger.  I can’t heal without healing the anger/rage inside of me.  No matter what triggers me, it results in me exploding with anger/rage and hurting myself either through hitting myself in the head or biting myself.  I’m embarrassed to admit that, I feel like a child.  I’ve been doing that for so long, even back in elementary school, that now it’s just a knee-jerk reaction when I get mad.  I have to work so hard to control myself if I’m in front of others and I get mad.  When I’m alone, I just let loose and beat the crap out of myself.  My therapist has been having me do a lot of writing about my past to try to figure out what’s going on and what the underlying source is.

At my last session with her on Friday, we were discussing my impulsiveness (thanks bipolar) and my extensive binge-spending, and how I used to binge drink and when I got sober, that addictive behavior just turned into binge eating and binge spending instead of drinking.  She believes that the impulsiveness also has to do with my anger/rage and my reactions to things.  My binge spending is so bad by the 10th of July, I had spent $500 of my $865 I get for disability each month.  How the hell did that happen, I don’t even know.  And I haven’t slowed down, after my appointment with her I went to Best Buy to pick up something I needed for my GPS and I ended up spending $90 on crap I don’t need.

A few days before my therapy session, I think it was Tuesday, I had gone out to the diner for dinner, and I was driving home down a 2 lane “highway” (45 mph) and there was a disabled car in the left lane so the cars in the right lane were letting the other cars merge in alternately like you would any other time cars need to merge, and this asshole in a huge pickup truck was determined not to let me merge, so I honked at him, then got really mad and sped around him and looked at him and he was pointing something at me and I thought it was a gun, then he pulled around me and started screaming at me to “pull over” and that he was going to “kick my ass” and I suddenly got scared and realized this guy was insane.  I gave him the finger and said “Fuck you” which only enraged him more, then he sped off and cut a whole bunch of cars off and went through an intersection, and I thought he was gone, but he was waiting for me on the other side and he pulled in behind me and started following me.  I decided at this point to ignore him and hoped he turned, I was not going to drive to my house, I was either going to call the police or drive to the police station, but he eventually turned and I went home.

As my therapist made a point that I hadn’t even realized, this is what I do to others on a daily basis.  I have no control of my anger/rage, and driving seems to be a significant trigger for me.  But this time I was on the receiving end of it, and it scared the crap out of me.  You would think I would have learned something, but no, as soon as I left therapy I got into an altercation with this dick who tried to cut me off and turn left in front of me nearly INCHES before I hit him, and I slammed on my brakes and blocked him in the intersection and started screaming at him, and he was fucking LAUGHING which only enraged me more, and I was seconds away from getting out of my car and beating the crap out of him but something internal stopped me.  Then later, I was waiting in line at Rite Aid, and had been waiting for like 10 minutes because everybody was arguing prices (*rolls eyes*) and this old hag who was walking around the store shopping had decided she was going to “save” her space in line with a bag of diapers then try to cut the line when I was next to go, and I spoke up and told her no way, and she started arguing with me that she had been waiting in line (she hadn’t) and I stood up for myself and started to get really angry again but she started cussing me out and stormed off.

My therapist seems to think I get angry when I feel people have disrespected me (like cutting me off, or the woman trying to cut in line) but I don’t know if that’s it.  I know I feel like I can do no wrong and that I am perfect, and I’ve always had that air about me, whether I like it or not.  I just don’t know why I can’t control my anger, I can be fine one moment, having a really good day, then suddenly I’m exploding and trying not to tear myself apart over the actions of someone else, or even just the perceived actions of somebody else (like they may not be trying to intentionally upset me, but I take it personally).

So there’s that… my depression has been eh, like right now I’m just feeling really lonely because I really don’t have anybody in my life to spend time with.  My best friend (and only friend, for that matter) has stopped hanging out with me, even though we talk online everyday, her reasoning being that she sees me as the only thing that can make her happy, and she used to rely on me too much, and after she was in the psych hospital she realized she has to make due with what she has and she can’t get herself to rely on me anymore.  So apparently that means she doesn’t want to hang out anymore, and that really hurts.  I don’t do anything except sit on my computer all day long and read political articles and then go out and spend money I shouldn’t be.  So because of all this loneliness I have decided to look into getting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), which can be prescribed through my psychologist.  An ESA is different from a service animal in that it is not trained to do anything specific but it’s therapeutic purpose is companionship and they are prescribed for individuals disabled from mental illness, so I definitely qualify.  The good thing is having an ESA can override a lease that says no pets (my lease says no pets).  However, there are some ways a landlord can still say no, such as if you live somewhere with 4 or less units and the landlord occupies one of the units – Great, that’s the building I live in, so technically he can still say no.  I am going to talk with my psychiatrist about it on Tuesday, she would be required to write a letter anyway.  I just don’t want to upset my landlord or piss him off because he’s a really good guy and I don’t want to be evicted or have to move because I just don’t have the emotional or mental strength to do that right now.

I know I’m getting my hopes up way too soon and fast, I was looking at dogs on the local SPCA website last night, and I even printed out the application and filled it out.  I know if this doesn’t work out I’m going to end up even more lonely and depressed.  The spark that ignited all of this depression (that lasted for 3 years before slowly letting me come back up above water) was having to give up my dogs.  My former therapist attributed my first major mental breakdown 100% to that.  I know some of my loneliness will go away having a furry friend to spend time with.

On top of all of this I am working with a new doctor to get a hysterectomy done, because being on testosterone injections puts me at a higher risk for cervical and ovarian cancer, and it’s highly recommended that I have it all removed, which I am 100% happy to do.  It will also lower my estrogen levels to basically zero, which is fine by me!  The more I get rid of the female parts of me the happier I will be.  He wants to do it in August, I am just waiting on hearing back from his office in regards to my insurance, because I can’t do it if it’s not covered.  It’s a really cool place I went to, it’s at my psychiatrist’s hospital and it’s a lesbian/bisexual/trans male OB-GYN program, where all of the staff is LGBT and they work with people in my community to make them feel safer when getting necessary evaluations done (People in the LGBT community tend to avoid getting things like PAP smears or prostate exams done because of gender dysphoria).  The appointment was great and the staff was beyond welcoming, it was a breath of fresh air.  I am trying to ask my mom to come for the day of the surgery and she’s trying to give an excuse that she probably has to work, but this is major surgery and she’s a nurse and I want her there!  Plus I’m going to need rides to and from the hospital, kinda sucks when you don’t have any friends.  I’ll need 4-6 weeks of no heavy lifting and recovery time, because they will be making a large incision in my abdomen.  Also, unfortunately I will need to take at least 4 weeks of no trombone playing, which means I’ll miss the beginning of concert band season.  I probably won’t be able to carry my brass horn around the city anyway, that thing weighs close to 20 lbs.  I have a plastic horn I use for marching band so I can always bring that.

This upcoming weekend I am driving up to Rochester, NY for my grandmother’s 94th birthday and my aunt’s 64th birthday.  We had a big party when they turned 90 and 60 a few years ago, and since my aunt and uncle from California will be in NY for my aunt’s high school reunion we decided to throw another party!  I am looking forward to seeing my family because they live all over the country and I rarely get to see them, and they are not annoying like my dad’s family.  My dad won’t even be there, he’s staying home with the dog.  So my brother and I will be staying at my aunt’s house, my mom and my other aunt will be sharing a hotel room.  So I get to hang out with my aunt’s dogs too (they bark too much though lol).  Not really looking forward to the drive, it’s like a 5 hour drive, but it will be worth it.  Thursday my brother and I are going to 6 Flags for the day which I’m super excited about, hopefully the weather will be nice.  The following weekend my best friend and I are driving up to my parent’s for the day to celebrate my 3 year sobriety anniversary by going out to dinner, plus my friend really wants to meet my parent’s puppy (the 90 lb 9 month beast lol).  Then the weekend after that I am most likely dog-sitting for him while my parents go away, then hopefully after that will be my surgery.  On top of all of this I am doing summer school, I only have a few more classes before I get my masters (Spring 2016) and I had taken a few years off due to my mental health but last month was my first class back and I got an A!  So yeah, lots going on, I just wish I could get my mental health under control, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

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5/6/15

It’s been a little while since I posted, I’ve actually been quite busy and been in a good mood lately so I haven’t really felt like writing much.  I am trying to get myself used to writing when I am in a good mood as well as a bad mood so hopefully this will be come a more frequent occurrence.

I got to go on my first vacation in over 5 years this weekend.  (I don’t count going to my parent’s house in New Jersey as vacation).  Usually I go to dog-sit for them while *they* go on a real vacation.  But this weekend I got to join them in Florida because my brother was graduating from University of Florida on Sunday.  Of course because my parents are insane they booked the first flight out of the airport on Friday, leaving at 6 am, so we left my parent’s house at 3:45 am.  Shoot me.  I almost decided to just not go to bed at all since I ended up getting 2 hours of sleep.  So we flew into Tampa then drove to Gainesville, apparently that’s the best and cheapest way to do it.  So a 3 hour flight and a 2 hour drive, yay.  I slept on the plane for a little bit at least.  I was starving so we checked into the hotel and then went to get lunch at this TexMex place my parents like.  My brother was in the middle of his last final exam so when he was done we met up with him and he wanted to introduce us to a few of his favorite professors.  For the first time in my entire life, my mother actually introduced me to one of the professors as her SON.  Not her “oldest child” or “eldest child”, but her goddamn fucking SON.  This has been a severe problem area for us with me coming out as trans – my parents have not once called me their son since I came out 7 years ago, and it hurt.  I was always “the oldest child”, my brother was their “son”, and my sister was their “daughter”.  At least my parents have stopped referring to me as female, because well, they’d look like a couple of assholes being that I am hairier than a werewolf and have a full beard.  So after hearing that I was smiling like a goofball and I was trying to control myself I was so excited I had honestly never heard my mother say that before.

We walked around campus for a bit, went to my brother’s favorite bar so he could get a bite to eat.  Of course everywhere we went my parents got drinks.  I can’t say for certain if their drinking has increased over the past few years, or if it’s because I am now sober and their drinking is more obvious to me.  I always knew they drank a lot of wine, like a bottle a night with dinner.  But both of them have been really hitting the bottle (mostly beer and wine) hard over the past few years.  Like 2 bottles of champagne on Christmas morning, before 1o am (with my brother and sister too).  So that bothers me a little bit still.  Seeing them drink a lot really bothers me.  But I know they don’t respect me because honestly should I really have to say anything?  They know I have a drinking problem.  I have had friends who actually asked me if it was alright if they had a drink around me – those people care.  My parents?  Not so sure.

So then we went back to the hotel and my brother and I went swimming.  It actually wasn’t *too* hot in Florida, hotter than I like though.  Also another first for me this weekend, I took my shirt off in front of my parents for the first time since my top surgery 5 years ago!  Honestly I was more scared to take it off because I’m fat and they’re all skinny and they totally fat-shame than being scared because of my scars and my gender.  I’ve learned to own my scars, and pretty much own my fatness as well.  I go to the beach with no fear and take my shirt off and walk around with my gut hanging out, I mean I’m not huge, but I’m fat.  But it felt so affirming to me to do this I just haven’t had the chance over the past 5 years to do it so this was the first time.  Then that night we went to this Chinese restaurant across the street from my brother’s apartment and his girlfriend came, this was the first time I met her.  She is really nice, she and I totally have the same politics so my brother knew we would hit it off.  The service at the restaurant was horrible unfortunately, but the food was good once we got it.  My single goal being in Gainesville was to see an alligator while I was there (hence the U of Florida’s mascot is the gator).  We saw a baby alligator on campus, but it was kind of hiding so I only saw it’s tail.  There were some gators in the water out back of the restaurant, but by the time we got outside all I could see was the bumps on it’s head from it’s eyes and then it went back underwater.  Boo.

The best part about this trip was that my parents actually booked me my own hotel room.  My father goes to bed at 7:30 pm and I asked my mom “What am I going to do for 6 hours, sit in the dark?” and she said “Don’t worry about it, you have your own room.  You snore too much.”  Hey, whatever works!  So I brought my laptop and was able to stay up til I wanted and didn’t have to worry about being quiet, sweet.  My parents also were super chill for the first time about not making my brother and me get up early to do shit.  We agreed to meet at noon, so even though my parents got up at the butt crack of dawn and did whatever they wanted, my brother and I got to sleep in.  We went to lunch at this New Orleans style restaurant and then went to the U of Florida campus and walked around for a few hours.  I was sweating like a pig, I hate the heat.  I could never live in Florida.  Then we went back to the hotel and went swimming again.  We then went to this wings place and met up with 3 of my brother’s friends and got dinner, the wings were so good.

Sunday was graduation day and my sister drove in from Tampa and we all got brunch with one of my brother’s friends and his girlfriend.  Then we went to campus to take graduation pictures.  Surprisingly as much as it rains in Florida it didn’t rain once while we were there.  My brother had to stay on campus but my parents, sister and I went back to the hotel and I yet again went swimming lol.  Apparently my father decided that we weren’t going to have dinner (graduation started at 7) so we got to go to CVS to pick out snacks to serve as our “dinner” wtf.  I was starving the second we left brunch (welcome to the life of a fat guy).  Pretzel sticks and jelly beans for dinner?  No thanks.  I was pissed – we had brunch at noon!  There were nearly 2,000 people graduating and we figured the ceremony was going to last until 11 or midnight, but they freaking did it in 2 hours!!  My parents were super excited for my brother graduating because he dropped out of high school so they didn’t get to attend a graduation ceremony for him like they did me and my sister.  At the end of the ceremony we met up with my brother and I was mentioning again how hungry I was, and my sister didn’t want to go out to eat, and neither did my parents, but then my brother mentioned a Steak n Shake was half a block from the hotel and was 24 hours so guess where I ended up lol.  At least I got my food, I can’t go that long without eating real food.

Monday morning our flight was at least not super early, it was 9:30, but since we had to drive 2 hours to the airport we left at 5 am.  I slept in the car the entire time and for at least an hour on the plane.  Then we went to the animal hotel to pick up Sammy and he went freaking nuts when he saw us he was so excited.  When we got home he was running all over the house and jumping all over the place and drooling and barking he just didn’t know what to do with himself.  He kept grabbing toys out of the closet and placing them in the bathroom, weird dog.  I got to play with him for about half an hour and then I had to head home because I had band rehearsal at 7, luckily there was no traffic going home.  Overall it was a really good trip but I was just about ready for a break from my parents.  I can only take so much of them at once.

I was super relieved going through security at the airport because trans people have been known to have problems with the scanner or being groped by a TSA official.  My gender marker matches my outward appearance on my ID since I’ve had surgery, so that wouldn’t be a problem, but I wasn’t sure how invasive the scanners get or if someone tried to feel parts of me that should/shouldn’t be there.  Luckily the scanner took about 3 seconds and I had no problems either way.  This was only the third time I’ve flown since I started my transition, I typically drive everywhere.  One of the flights was before I had top surgery so I was wearing a chest binder then but I have never had a problem, but that doesn’t calm my anxiety about it.

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4/19/15

I surprisingly had a good weekend and I’ve been in a really good mood since Thursday when that damn light switch in my brain turned on and made the depression go away.  I’ve actually gone out and done stuff and not stayed cooped up in my apartment all weekend, plus the weather was really nice (too hot for my liking yesterday, it was in the mid-80’s) but today was in the mid-60’s which was much more tolerable.  I hate the heat so much, winter please come back I miss you already.

Yesterday I went to the gym and then treated myself to my first water ice of the summer.  Rita’s opened last month but I just haven’t been yet and it was delicious.  I was also on the hunt for a particular video game part of the Professor Layton series as I just finished up the newest one, but the Gamestop by me didn’t have it, so I ended up driving to the other side of the county and found two Professor Layton games!  So now I have something to keep me busy especially on the plane when I go to Florida in 2 weeks.  I then figured since I was out that way I would treat myself to the diner that I always go to and that was delicious.  It was super busy so I ended up sitting at the counter, but since it was just me I didn’t care.  It’s interesting I’ve found myself being more and more comfortable going to do things that normally involve multiple people by myself, like going to the movies or to a restaurant.  I actually just bought a single ticket to see Grace Potter, one of my favorite singers (she’s normally with a band, the Nocturnals, but she’s solo at the moment) she is coming to Camden for a festival at the end of July and she never comes to the east coast and I just had to see her but I don’t have anybody to go with me, my uncle didn’t want to come since the Nocturnals wouldn’t be there so I said fuck it I want to go and I bought myself a ticket.

Today I started music therapy again, which I freaking love.  I did it back in the fall, it’s a queer/trans music therapy group and I had so much fun last time I signed up for it again.  It was supposed to start in February but it took a while to get going again but we finally started today and it runs for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately I’ll miss one session due to being in Florida for my brother’s college graduation.  Two of the three people that were in the group last time returned, so it was good to see them, and then there were two new people.  It was a little uncomfortable in the beginning because I felt a bit vulnerable since I didn’t know everybody there but I did warm up to the activities as we went along.  I then had a rehearsal for marching band but had an hour to kill so I went to IHOP for a bite to eat and got amazing raspberry white chocolate chip pancakes holy crap.  We had marching band rehearsal for 3 hours my back was killing me by the end and still is ugh.  And add in a headache too, lovely.  Playing music always makes me feel good but I hate playing outside in the park where we rehearse because people always stare at us and take pictures/videos and sometimes make comments and the tourists sit and watch us rehearse and right now we sound like shit as it’s only our second rehearsal of the summer.  We rehearse in this park all summer long so there will be people staring at us all summer long, awesome.  I don’t care about that during a performance, of course, but when we’re trying to rehearse and people literally get in our way or annoy us and we’re supposed to be professional about it I just want to tell them to get the fuck away especially when people come up to us asking for money or something.  Also in case I haven’t mentioned this before, I freaking HATE tourists they are all over this particular part of the city because we rehearse near City Hall and everybody has to take pictures of it and the park we rehearse in has some artwork they have to take pictures of, and they’re always in my freaking way and never know where they’re going and always stop walking in the middle of the sidewalk to look at a map or a building and I just want to tell them to GET OUT OF MY CITY!!!  And on Easter after we did a parade I was walking to the subway and ended up walking up 5th street, which is right by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, so it is super-touristy, and I typically ignore anybody who tries to talk to me but this guy came running up to me and I figured he was a tourist and wanted directions so I stopped, and he started giving me this bullshit story about how he had to go pick up his kids and his debit card was declined and could he “borrow mine”.  How stupid do you think I am??  I take offense to that that you would think I would fall for something that obvious.  Usually people just ask for change, which I don’t carry either, but to ask me for my debit card…lmao seriously.

This week I have my typical schedule, band rehearsal, trans-sobriety group, and then I have a consult for a sleep study my doctor wants me to do because of my snoring, fun.  Next week I get to drive to my parents house and see their puppy Sam and then at freaking 6 am our flight departs to Tampa (my parents are insane and ALWAYS book the earliest flights possible).  Which means we’ll have to leave for the airport before 5 am ughhh.  Apparently Saturday my brother has already advised me he and his friends are staking out their favorite bar all day and all night because of that Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight, and well, being an alcoholic it certainly is not safe for me to spend an entire day in a bar, nor do I want to, so I wonder what that day will hold in store for me.  Then Sunday my brother graduates and my sister is driving in from Tampa it is going to take forever he said, plus he goes to a huge school but I wanted to be there for him.  Then Monday we fly back and the flight is at like 9 am, but we have to drive 2 hours to the airport, so again we’re leaving at like 5 am.  I already warned my mother she would be dealing with one grumpy person and she said “Then don’t come”… thanks.  My sleep schedule is opposite theirs so sharing a hotel room is going to be interesting, my father goes to bed at 7:30 pm, no joke.  He’s only 55, he’s not ancient, just insane, as he will get up at 3-4 am to run 6-7 miles.  Here’s hoping he cuts me a break and adjusts his sleep schedule a bit for my sake.

So yeah that’s my life right now the life of a bipolar man I can go from A to Z in the span of no time and it drives me up a wall but at least I’m in a good even place at the moment, I need to take advantage of these times.  Also here is a picture of Sam my parent’s 6 month old chocolate lab puppy he is already 71 lbs he is a big monster.  Apparently he dug a massive crater in the back yard last weekend.  Typical puppy.  And when he isn’t biting you or barking in your face he is a big lover.  He just has to learn his manners still.

Sam

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The “Joys” of Bipolar

I seriously hate having bipolar disorder.  After 3 weeks of some of the most insufferable depression I’ve had in a long time, almost to the brink of hurting myself or going to the hospital, I woke up yesterday feeling great and as if a switch had turned on inside my head that turned the depression off and it was as if nothing had ever happened.  That is what caused me to be diagnosed as bipolar in the first place – this kept happening, either with depressive or manic episodes, and then I’d come back and “even out” so to speak, and it was like the previous feelings had vanished and I completely forgot how I was feeling before.  It fucking sucks, and it makes no sense to me because I know what triggered my depression (the situation with my friend), and the situation is not resolved, yet the depression has gone away.  I saw both my psychiatrist and therapist today and my psych said that is the chemical imbalance in my head that does that, and because I’m finally on the right(ish) medications it brought me back to an even keel.  Not as quickly as I’d like, obviously, 3 weeks of depression was a long time, but my psych was considering upping my Effexor a bit but the last time she did that I ended up going manic.  She decided not to touch my meds since I came out of the depression on my own.

I also had a really good session with my therapist, I am really coming to like her I am glad my previous therapist set us up together.  It also really helps that she is trans because we have that added connection there too. so if trans stuff comes up I don’t have to further explain myself, she gets it.  She wants me to write myself a note/letter well, two actually, one to my depressed self, and one to my manic self, telling each one how to handle the situation and remind myself that it is a temporary cycle and I will come out of it.  The depression more than the mania, I always feel as if I am never going to get better.  I kind of enjoy the mania, most people do, except for when I don’t sleep, which is typical of when I’m manic.  She wants me to really think about how I write it, and the tone I write it in, so I am appealing to the depressed/manic person, not the stable person I am at the moment, so it will be challenging and interesting to think about.  I already know that for the depression letter I can’t give myself directions because I won’t follow them when I’m depressed, so just explaining to myself that everything will be okay will be better.  I might be better off with directions for the manic letter, as I will be so energized and doing things.

Yesterday I had an appointment at the ENT to address my constant nosebleeds.  It was my first time going to an ENT and it was really weird.  They sprayed some misty stuff up my nostrils which numbed my nose and throat and then the doctor stuck a long rubber camera tube up my nose so far I felt pressure on my eyeball.  It was certainly an awkward and uncomfortable feeling.  Of course since the day I scheduled the appointment, I have not had one nosebleed, so right now there is nothing he can do.  He also wants me to schedule a sleep study because of my snoring, so that will be interesting.  I have the consult next week and have to fill out a 13 page packet of information before I go, lovely.

I’m having a bit of a problem right now though I love getting tattoos and I’ve been wanting to get a Batman tattoo for a long time.  I finally decided to get it and I put together some ideas and went and talked to my tattoo artist about it because I want him to draw it.  I was going to get it on my right upper arm, but because I have so many scars from cutting over the years he said the scars would not work with this particular tattoo, although he could tattoo over the scars with something else.  So we decided on the front of my left leg.  I didn’t realize how much it was going to be – $900!!  He said it will probably take about 6 hours, and it’s $175 an hour but since I’ve been a customer there for a few years he was cutting me a bit of a discount.  I scheduled it for the end of May.  I was super excited, and I told my brother and my best friend about it, and they both got kind of pissed about how much money I was going to spend and spoke out against it.  I let it go and thought about it some more, and decided how I am going to pay for it.  Since they let you split it and use credit cards, I will put $500 on my credit card (the max) and pay the rest with cash, which would be $400 plus at least $100 in tips so I’m looking at breaking $1000.  Then over the next few months I will pay off the credit card, so I am spreading the payment out and not doing it all at once.  I was sharing this with my brother tonight, and he seriously spoke out against me doing it.  I get $865 a month from disability, and my dad pays my rent and car insurance (he insists, I offered to contribute but he said no – that is how my parents prove they “love” me, by giving me money).  My parents also give me a $125 “allowance” to supplement what I bring in from disability.  My food stamps had been cut from $194 to fucking $16, no idea why, but today I got a letter that they’re going back up to $194, so yay, at least I can save money on groceries now.  But my brother thinks I need to save my money and be responsible with it, and that yes, I do deserve a treat now and then, maybe not a treat that is so expensive.  He advised me to talk it over with some more people, so I brought it up with my best friend again, and she said she fully agrees with my brother, and that I’m almost 30 and need to grow up and start being responsible and stop relying on my parents.  The thing is part of me doesn’t want to stop relying on them, because they are offering to give me money so why would I say no?  Now I am starting to doubt myself about this tattoo and I don’t know what to do.  I really want to get it, I am going to talk with my therapist about it next week.  I know if I save my money I will be better off in the long run but it doesn’t mean I don’t want that tattoo any less.  In reality I want to move into a bigger apartment and get a dog, and I know I can’t do that if I spend my money on a $900 tattoo.  My car also needs brake work done apparently, but I’m sure my dad would give me the money for that if I asked.

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