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This house is not the best place for recording videos.  It works okay for recording sound, although I should have some cooling pad or a new pc fan to solve the issue.

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 Tuesday was a busy day. I spent the morning running around, trying to fulfill the requirements of the IMPACT program, as I was not sure that I had been released from those obligations yet. I found out that an additional form was needed, which I picked up and dropped off at the necessary office. I went to Sam’s Club to pick up prescriptions, dropped off applications, and returned home briefly, before heading out again. During this brief time, I struggled with a thought that has occupied my mind lately. It’s a strange desire for me, and one I will probably blame on the estrogen. For the last few weeks, I’ve been regretting the fact that I can never have children.

I never wanted children before, and I usually point to my nephew as a good reason why I should not personally have offspring. After all, why does there need to be another person who would likely have a similar criminal disposition running around?  However, it’s a bit deeper than just wanting children. When the thought comes to my mind, it’s contemplating motherhood. For some reason, the idea of being a father still seems unappealing  I do not know if it’s some sort of bizarre biological clock going off, or if I can attribute it to hormone replacement therapy.

Is this a common feeling among transgender individuals? I do not know. Everyone has regrets if they live long enough.  It seems strange that something I never even considered before becomes a regret even though it is a physical impossibility.

As this thought works its way through my mind, I can only hope that I will get the opportunity to do this in another life. For all I know, I could have done it in the past.  If this is the case, I do not want to do it within the confines of the Mormon heaven. Being part of a harem does not sound all that pleasant to me. (The church may have changed this doctrine, but I believe it remains intact.)  I’d rather come back to this planet or another one with the required parts and try it then support the idea that my eternal destiny is to produce new souls along with other women bound to the same male spirit as I am.   Reincarnation, if it exists, may give me a chance to experience motherhood outside of the Celestial Kingdom, but I do not know if desires last from one life to the next.

I know from many years ago that my father felt he had his first two children in the order he wanted them.  In his mind, he had one girl and one boy with my mother. He even told me he  made sure this happened. While I know this is scientifically impossible, there is still a part of me that wonders what might have happened if he had not tried to arrange things this way. 

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 Despite feeling tired, I decided to go to the local gaming shop’s board game night.  I do this regularly simply for socialization.  I bowed out of the last game because I was feeling dizzy and nauseous.  I decided to stick around for a bit rather than take off right away. Eventually, the game ended and a conversation among two other people started.  Somehow the topic came around to certain first aid practices, and the words tampon and maxi pad came up in the conversation. He looked over at me every time he said this. I wonder if I was supposed to have some sort of input on the conversation.

As might be expected, I had nothing to say.  An army manual suggesting that soldiers use tampons to stop bleeding from a bullet wound did not surprise me.  After all, I know these devices are designed to soak up blood. I did not feel the need to share that I’d never used one, any more than I felt the need to share that I was in the Order of the Arrow when I was a scout.  I’m not sure what he expected any way.  I don’t think I could have added anything meaningful.

Even though it is possible I am over thinking the situation, I was the only female present at the time. Was I supposed to add something, even if to just confirm that soldiers using it in the field for first aid purposes was a valid use? It makes sense to me. Because I hope to never be a soldier in combat, I had nothing to say about that use.  He may have been looking at me to see if he said something that made him less masculine. If this was the case, he’s one of billions of men who need to get over that hang up.

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 People who are socialized as male – whether they are male or not – are taught to keep most of their feelings to themselves. They are expected to display three feelings at most. Anger, joy and a null state of emotions are all society allows. Feminists decry this as one way the patriarchy harms men, but I am not going to use their language, even if I am using their arguments.  However, transition is in many ways a life-changing experience. While I would not give up what I have gained in the past few years, it is also important to note that I have lost things in the process as well.   Sometimes, however, transgender people do not take advantage of what they have gained, even though they should. Being able to display feelings more openly is one advantage of transition that does not take place easily.  Hormones do not change a lifetime of societally-enforced behavior. Even if someone can show their emotions more freely, it does not mean that they will. Crying might be one of the biggest examples of this.

Men are taught not to cry, or if they do, not to do it openly. Special circumstances, such as the death of a loved one, grant an exception.  Since starting HRT, I’ve found that tears come more easily, especially if it’s something that makes me sad, like hearing of the death of someone’s pet.  Last night, was one of those occasions.  Even though I can cry more freely and openly, I felt the need to hide my tears, because that is what I have always done.

HRT caused many changes, physical, social and emotional.  One of the more difficult ones I faced was experiencing a greater range of emotions at first. (Of course, there was also a childish glee at having breasts, something I wish would have subsided much sooner than it did.)  Even the way I felt anger changed.  It is not the expression of normally repressed emotions; it’s expressed because I have reasons to be angry.

And I must admit I’ve experienced a greater range of mixed emotions, although they are not necessarily contradictory. Perhaps the most recent example is finding out I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis.  While I’m not pleased about this, I was happy that it wasn’t what I feared. In fact, I felt like celebrating because the news was considerably less bad than I feared. (If German doesn’t have a word for this, it should. It’d probably be a variation of schadenfreude.)  I also have mixed feelings about being referred to a physical therapist. I’m afraid, excited, and filled with a desire to waste as much of Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shields funds as possible for all the crap that they’ve put me through when not covering my estradiol in the past. There’s also a desire to use as many of Indiana’s resources as possible because of their failure to provide adequate safety nets.  Experiencing an array of emotions over a situation is something I rarely experienced presenting as male. I might have once, but my peers, bullies and other quickly taught me that emotions were bad things to have.

As I go through the process of learning to be female, an experience I was denied, I find myself questioning whether I should be hiding this. People may state something if I become too emotionally charged, or view me as overly emotional, but they won’t openly ridicule me.  Women may do a lot of things behind the scenes that I do not understand or know about, and this, unfortunately, is also part of the learning process, and because it’s a social skill, I’m not sure I’ll ever learn it fully.  Maybe one day I’ll even be okay with openly crying rather than trying to hide it.  [Spoiler Alert!] At least for the moment, I’m glad no one saw me cry when Tris’s mother gave up her life for her in Divergent.

[Hmm... I wonder if I should post this on my Blogspot blog.]
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 Last night was not a good night.  Any night where you spend half the night in the Emergency Room seldom is.  I've already told the tale elsewhere, but something else is bugging me about the visit last night. The ER Doctor -- the same one who had told me he had had 200 kidney stones several years ago, oddly enough -- took none of my concerns seriously and kept interrupting me. I was the patient, and I  was probably not in the best mental state to handle the situation. However, my roommate was also in the room last night. When she tried to bring anything up, the doctor kept interrupting her.

I could not say anything last night, but now I feel the need to give that doctor a good swift kick in the rump.  Listen, Doc, I know you're the expert on medical issues, but I asked her along because she is an expert on what I've been going through. She has lived with me for the past three years. You have not. If she thinks something is relevant that I missed, you need to pay attention to her. After she has stated her concerns, you can answer her.

You thought it was bronchitis and a nonspecific polyarthritis exacerbation, and you are probably right. (At least you didn't think it was fibromyalgia pain. I only thought it might not be fibromyalgia pain because of the way my tendons had been acting for weeks.)  As someone who used to work with words, I believe that "nonspecific" means you don't actually know what's causing my joint issues, but I have enough of the necessary symptoms to get an arthritis diagnosis.

If you'd realized I was the same person you treated for Kidney stones a few years ago, would you have treated me the same way?  Would you write this rant off as the effects of being shot with corticosteriods last night if you saw it today?
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 The media has covered Bruce Jenner's transition fairly well. They have treated the subject respectfully even as the buy into the ratings grab.  I do not fault this from a business perspective. Networks need to get viewers, and people love to focus on celebrities.  Covering the transition of a public figure gives them viewers which translates into extra advertising dollars.  However, if there's one thing I wish people would stop doing, it is describing transgender people as courageous.

I understand that the people who use this phrase mean well, but it was not courage that drives me or other people to transition. It is a simple necessity. A trans* individual can either live in denial with all of the emotional turmoil denial brings, or they can break through the cognitive dissonance of trying to live as their assigned gender to live in a way that is in greater harmony with their own mind. (I prefer to think of it as their own spirit, but I know many people do not share my views on the existence of spirits or souls.)

I've been subjected to the c-word as well. I didn't feel particularly courageous when I made the decision to live as Lara full time. Instead, it was simply a matter of letting go all of as much of the emotional baggage that came with living in anxiety and denial as I could.   Going to a family funeral as Lara for the first time was not an act of courage, either. It was simply a granddaughter doing a favor for her grandmother and her sister.  

There are many reasons why I hope I'm not a role model for anyone. Even in my own mind, I view some aspects of my life as a cautionary tale.  I've done things out of fear, out of desperation, and out of necessity. None of these things made me feel particularly brave. Transition wasn't something I did to shock people. It was the right decision for me.  I hope it's the right one for Bruce Jenner as well

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During the last few months, I have spent more time in the company of doctors than I would like. The thought that visiting the doctor causes sickness has crossed my mind more than once. However, I've dealt with male and female doctors, and I've noticed a pattern emerging in the way they interact with me. 

I'm sure this will not come as a surprise to any cisgender person or a transgender woman who has presented as female for a long time, but the male doctors are less likely to listen to me than their female counterparts.  My endocrinologist is likely to order the tests I ask for, as long as there is a good reason for them, and she will order them if she thinks there is a good reason for the test, even if I cannot articulate it clearly.  

The male doctors, however, usually assume there answer is right, and the main doctors has fallen into the "It's probably just your fibro" idea.  

Also having one part of your body feel too warm while another is cold is a weird sensation...

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