Today was my birthday…again. So now I am 33 and that feels very grown-up in someway I think. On the other hand I don’t feel grown-up all the time. Some things makes me feel a lot younger, at least when it comes to self-esteem. Don’t get me wrong here. I do feel better than ever before in many ways but it is all relative I guess. In some respects I think my transition have made some parts of my life “on hold” so to speak. So now I am slowly feel I am starting to move again. And that means dealing with new things, that before wasn’t really on the horizon. So getting older is a bit mixed. If I a looking upon it from a positive side I guess it is better to feel younger than older. People sang happy birthday to me today. That was nice. However, I always think about having a birthday party each year. I had a great party when I turned 30 and then I thought this is something I must do more often. Somehow having my birthday at this time of the year is a bit of a bad timing for me. Time moves so fast this time of the year so I often find myself a little bit to tired or stressed to make it happen. Another factor is my apartment which is rather ill-suited for a party I think. I need to get on with renovating my kitchen soon. Then I will try to have a party with my friends, or at least invite them over for a dinner or something. That would be nice.
Today I went to see my endocrinologist (doctor specializing in hormones) to see how I was doing post-surgery. First it was some fuss around my new social security number and apparently my test results was filed under the old one. So it took some time for them to clear this out but everyone was nice and efficient. My doctor then started by saying that my test results looked good and that my testosterone levels was very low now post-surgery. However, he was a little bit concerned that the medicine I am using might not be enough to make sure I get the results I want on hair and things like that. So one option will be to use some kind of androgene to push the testosterone levels down more for up to a year. However, there are some side effects on that which includes a risk for feeling a bit blue/sad, more strain on the liver and weight gains. So I will think about that for a while. This past months have been a bit tough so I am not sure I am interested in yet another downward push in my mood. Maybe later in the autumn. I still have a couple of “firsts” to do and I need everthing I can get to feel safe and secure about myself when being naked in the dressing room or whatever the situation is.
Yesterday I went to the Karolinska hospital to have another check-up and to remove the final stitches from the second surgery. I was greeted by the new contact nurse for transsexual patients Anna Fredriksson and she started by removing the stitches from the upper part. Removing the threads always feels rather spooky but it did not really hurt. Then she asked me if I had some other issues I wanted to discuss and I took the opportunity to ask a few questions. She also told me that they usually have us come back for another check-up around one year from the first surgery so I guess that will happen in March or April 2008. Good to know that they have these routines to see that everything is ok.
As you might know, here in Sweden all transsexual patients are assigned one psychiatrist who are managing the whole transition process and today I went to see him for a follow-up. I felt it was good to be able to talk a little about life after surgery with someone outside, who is not a friend or so. I told him about the way things feel after the surgery and it isn’t always so easy when it is hard to walk, it hurts to sit and everything takes longer time to do. I guess the confidence also gets a blow because it is not easy to feel feminine and nice in that condition. We agreed that the post-surgery period is something that can be discussed more with all patients. It is easy to look forward to the post-surgery period where I am supposed to be “ready” or “finished” with my journey. But the journey continues and there are always news things in life to handle. After all, this process is about improving the quality of life as much as possible and that is of course a continous process.
I was also informed that they have a plan to follow up patients and their view of just their quality of life after the surgery. That means seeing a councellor 1, 3 and 5 years after surgery. It feels good to know that they care for you even after the process. I also told him that things are a bit rough at work right now. People are nice, it is not that. It is just that right now they suddenly decided to play hard ball with the tasks I am supposed to carry out and that creates a lot of frustration for me since I am being torn between two different sets of responsibilities. Normally that is something I could have handled but now after the surgeries I would have very much preferred that they had been a bit more easy on me. I had so much looked forward to a fresh start at my “new” job in Enköping, but now that apparently is postsponed. Work is not as fun any more because of that, but I guess it will turn again.
Since I changed my name and social security number there are many places to notify and change that. Usually it can be done without any issues but some companies are harder than others. The main problem is of course all these certificates that I have gathered over the years. Papers that sometimes need to be included in applications of different sorts. I realized that all my university “points” that I have gathered are listed in my old name and number and that will of course become a problem if I would like to take a course at the University. So I contacted my Political Science Department down at Lund University to see what can be done. It turned out that I can at least get a new printout from the national university system. Good.
I dislocated my shoulder a few weeks ago and I was sent to a specialist doctor to evaluate the stability of my shoulder. I was actually a bit nervous about this since it was the first time that I had to take my clothes off in front of a doctor who is not involved in care of transsexual patients. Well, it was not that bad. He made me do different twisting and lifting of my arms and it looked rather good. Nothing was damaged. He recommended me to go to a physiotherapist to do some strengthening training of my shoulder. Good to know what to do but I am a bit tired of constantly having appointments for doctors and such.
Today I went to the Police Acedemy here in Stockholm to talk during their Diversity Days. They had asked me to talk about my experiences of being transsexual in the Armed Forces but also about transsexuality in general. It was interesting to be at the acedemy which apparently is an old army base and I it somehow felt a bit familiar. Perception is an interesting thing and I have over the years became very sensitive to other peoples visible reaction to me. When I went to the Conference center after arrival I could not help feeling surprisingly uncomfortable with they way people I met looked at me. Strange to explain but it was not either friendly nor “I don’t notice/care-looks that I got. On the other hand, maybe the police students already have become a bit more observant that most of us. Anyway, I had around 100 people listening to me and I talked using a Keynote presentation as usual and it seemed to go ok. The seemed interested and responsive to what I had to say and a few came up to me afterwords and told me it was interesting and that is usually a sign that more thought so as well. Actually got invited to speak at another police event later on as well.