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How's Life?

Published: Aug 21 2018

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The Incident

There was something that was new for me recently. I have been on injections for a while now and never had an issue. There is the risk of hitting a vein but it's pretty minimal. I haven't been squeamish about needles or blood before. On injection day everything was going as planned. I aspirated after putting the needle in. No blood. I inject. No pain, nothing unusual. I pull out the needle. Here is where things changed. Blood immediately starting running down my leg. Somewhat like bloody nose consistency. I wipe it up. Another trail. And one more. I finally just put pressure on my leg. This was unusual because there is usually anywhere from no blood to maybe three drops of blood but not running. As I am holding the gauze to my leg I start to feel weird. My heart started beating so hard, my breathing got heavy, and slowly my vision started to tunnel. I realized I was about to pass out and put my head between my knees (I inject sitting down). Immediately my vision cleared. I sat that way for about 5 minutes until my pulse and breathing settled. I messaged the doctor and she said I probably had a vasovagal response. Basically the same as what happens when someone faints because of blood. I may have hit a nerve that triggered it. The blood was probably going through a surface vein. In the end I was taken by surprise. So far I haven't had another event but it's been on my mind every time I inject now. That doesn't help keep the nerves calm but talking to myself as I push the needle in has helped.

Current Events

Lately there has been not a lot of change for me. That is good and bad. Good because things are going well overall. Bad because things don't feel like they are changing when you don't notice any changes. 

I recently had a yearly physical with the doctor that I initially came out to. The nurse that gathered all my info didn't seem to remember me, even though she is the only one I have interacted with at that office. The doctor did. She started by giving me a hug! I was surprised. I am not a stranger hugger. I hardly hug my family! I have noticed my sisters and I hug a lot more (as do friends). Not all women around me are huggers but enough that it's been a noticeable thing I had to get used to since transitioning. Anyways, back to the doctor. She asked about transition and seemed very curious (probably mostly professional and gathering info for the physical). She said that since I had been there last the office had made changes and they now have a process for referring to endocrinologists for trans patients. Since I only need a blood draw once a year and am basically on auto pilot now it wasn't needed but it is nice that they have updated procedures. She mentioned multiple times that my body tolerated or handled the hormones well.

She had asked about life and transition. How am I? How is it going? I realized pretty quickly that I hadn't really thought about it much. I am living life and no longer focused on the same small details as I was a year ago. I am stable and all the biggest changes are behind me now. It has been nearly 2 years since I began HRT and now that is the least of my concerns. I can still remember when every experience was a new one. I am still aware that I am trans but for most interactions people seem to just see the woman in front of them. 

This is an important step because many people, including me, build life around transitioning. The logistics, the support, the appointments. Many other things go on the back-burner. Once you don't need to focus everything around transition it can be hard to let go of all that has been built up. This doesn't have to be a bad thing obviously. You can change the focus from being on you to being on others and do activist or support activities locally (as an example). Other people can't wait to leave it all behind and live stealth. Some may go the other way and never leave. Everyone has dealt with this to some extent. Just think of say a book series like Harry Potter. That may have shaped your childhood and the books were there, then movies. Then the series ended and maybe you felt you had nothing outside of that to relate to other people anymore. It is just an example. Don't get hung up on specifics. 

I have figured that this is the reason I don't write as much about my transition. It's not the focus of my life. It's a part of my life but it doesn't need to dominate all that I do.

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