Suicidal Idealations

I want to die.

I’m so tired of struggling, so tired of fighting, so tired of it being insinuated that my life is meaningless because I’m not good enough at being a minority. 

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. It was supposed to be the beginning of the process to start my chest reconstruction surgery. Instead it ended with me wanting to wrap my car around a tree at 140 mph, and quite frankly the only reason I didn’t was because I wasn’t alone in the car on the five hour trip back home. Killing myself is one thing, taking someone else out with me is totally different, and no matter how depressed I get, or how suicidal I am it’s not something I could ever do. 

I drove over 200 miles, one way, just to have some lackey of the surgeon I was supposed to have a consultation with tell me I was too fat for them to operate on. Then she kept asking if I wanted to see pictures of their results…The surgeon couldn’t even be bothered to see me, even after these people knew I was driving from near Albany, NY to Rochester, NY. 

In 2007 I injured my back, I hurt it while I was working at Fred’s in Piggott, AR but since I didn’t realize it until the following day, the company basically told me to go fuck myself. I ended up going to the ER, where I was given multiple shots in my back and told to get some rest. I haven’t been out of pain since that day. 

When I first tried to see a medical professional about the severe pain in my lower back, I was told it was because I was overweight. None of the doctors that I saw in Arkansas wanted to even listen to the fact that I had been injured, it was all because I was overweight. 

Then I moved to Virginia, where I was told that I had nerve damage in my lower back and I was given a referral to a pain management specialist. When I went to see the pain management specialist I was then told that I would live every day for the rest of my life in pain, but because I was so young (25 years old) there was nothing that they (the pain management specialists) were going to do. I was too young to be taking pain killers. So I was sent on my way with the knowledge that each and every day I was alive from then until I died I would be hurting. 

Since then, I’ve tried to see doctors about losing weight, but now that I present as male I’ve been repeatedly told “just exercise” or “you’re just building muscle”. The latter is every doctor’s excuse for the weight gain I’ve had despite exercising to the point where I feel like I’m about to pass out and eating about a quarter of what I ate before my initial back injury some ten years ago. None of the doctors want to run any tests to find out why I’m gaining weight, it just must be all that muscle gain…

No one wants to help, or even listen and do their job. They just want me out of their office so they don’t have to deal with me anymore. This isn’t just one or two doctors though, is this nearly every doctor I’ve been to in the past five years. I stopped drinking soda, and rather than loosing weight which what one doctor proclaimed would happen, I gained weight. 

I’m not rich, in fact quiet the opposite is true. The only reason I’m living in a house right now is because a really great couple took my family in when we had no where else to go and were living in a tent. I’m not skinny, I’m damaged goods and I’m male. All of which equate to my life isn’t worth the paper my birth certificate was printed on. 

Why should I even bother to fight anymore?

I’m constantly in pain. The one thing that I was stupid enough to get my hopes up for has just been taken away because of issues that no doctor wants to deal with…my quality of life is so low it’s not even funny.

I can’t even function in society.

I’m so tired.

#depression, #discrimination-in-healthcare, #doctors, #ftm, #ftm-surgery, #shoddy-healthcare, #suicide, #transgender

Transgender Visibility

Ideas have been mulling around in my head for the last several days of how to dispell the negative ideas around people that are transgender after reading the appalling ways in which transgender people were talked about in my local newspaper. Since the Obama Administration signed an executive order that banned the discrimination of transgender students in school regarding bathroom usage, there has been plenty of negative backlash towards the transgender population of the United States.

The best way to dispel negative thoughts, ideas and the like is to counter them with something positive that disproves the false ideas. Ideas like all transgender people are sexual predators, sex workers, drug abusers, etc. Just like cis-gendered people, transgender people come from all types of life, sure there are some that fit into those categories, but there are some that do not. Being transgender does not make you a bad person, it simply makes you different from the masses.

Recently, a study has shown that being transgender is not a mental disorder, but rather there are mental health disorders that can stem from being transgender. These disorders are not caused by being transgender, but rather the way in which society has treated individuals that are diagnosed with gender dysphoria and have sought treatment for it. In short, society is responsible for the mental health issues that transgender people have due to their intolerance, hatred, discrimination, and unhealthy and often unfounded negative biased ideas towards the transgender population.

The goal of this project is to educate society as to what being transgender means, the hell that people who are transgender often go through for anything from seeking medical attention to finding gainful employment, and perhaps most importantly to allow other people to walk a mile in our shoes.

I will be launching the project sometime in September of this year (2016). First, I want to focus on telling the stories of the transgender population (mine included). From there I would like to expand to interviews and articles with doctors and mental health professionals that see and treat those of us that are transgender.

I think that it is important to share our stories so that people will see that we are not monsters or worse. Later in the month, I will post more information about the project as I get it together.

If you are someone that identifies as transgender and would like to tell your story, please drop me a line so we can chat. My email is AydanOConnor@icloud.com I check it about once a week, so if I don’t respond right away please don’t get discouraged. Names can be changed to protect identities.

Thank you.

#ftm, #lgbt, #mtf, #tg, #tg-community, #tg-visibility, #transgender, #transgender-activism, #transgender-stories, #transgender-visibility, #transman, #transsexual, #transwoman

Just Words

They are just words, this is the mantra that I’ve heard over and over again when lesbian women refuse to recognize their gender of their significant others who happen to be transmen. The use of female pronouns and labels meant only for women are constantly used towards transmen and by their own girlfriends, wives, fiances.

The damage that these words do to transmen are beyond measure, they chip away at his confidence, they destroy his identity, and they leave emotional scars that are far harder to heal than any physical wound. By calling a transman someone’s wife or girlfriend one is not only completely neglecting to recognize his identity, but it is also disrespectful, and emotionally abusive.

They are just words.

The real problem is, they aren’t just words. Words give life to perceptions that are otherwise silent, the give life to our emotions in ways that affect the world and people around us for better or for worse.

Study after study researchers have found that negative words can have lasting effects on people not only mentally but also physically. A 2013 study found that teenagers of normal weight had a higher rate of becoming obese if they thought they were overweight than their peers that thought they weren’t overweight or were told differently.

Imagine what effect being called a woman, wife, she, her, etc. has on a transman. If a teenager being told or believing that he or she is overweight causes them to in fact become overweight, wouldn’t this have a similar effect on a transman. It could cause him to question everything that he feels and believes about himself and cause him to have a crisis of identity. Afterall, if everyone around him thinks or sees him as being female, perhaps there is something wrong with him mentally.

For those that still call transmen by female narrative despite their wishes, imagine now if you will, someone doing that to you. Imagine that everything you are absolutely certain about yourself someone denies and in fact claims the exact opposite of, and not just once or twice in passing. Every single day that you wake up everyone around you denies you that ability to make decisions or choices about the person you are.

They aren’t just words, they are affirmations of who and what people are and experience.

#female-to-male, #ftm, #lgbt, #transgender, #transsexual

Doctors + Being Transgender = Not Good Bedfellows

I hate visiting the doctor, I hate it to the point where I have to pretty much be on the verge of death before I’ll visit a doctor. Part of the reason is the usual lack of punctuality for almost any doctor that I’ve been to, and part of it is because I am transgender. Today I was in so much pain that I forced myself to see what my wife refers to as a “Doc in a Box”, basically it’s a quickie clinic that is normally filled with kids sick from school or people looking to avoid a large co-pay from their insurance companies. They are still, however, a doctor and can do any of the doctorly things a general practitioner would do.

So I went into Patient First in Richmond, VA as I was already in town shopping for groceries for the house. The wait was fairly short, as was the visit with the doctor. I explained why I was there and what the problem was. For those of you reading that are curious I have a lump in my throat on my right side, and really have no effing clue what it is…still.  It’s painful to swallow, turn my head and even breath at times if there is pressure on that side of my neck at all.

The first thing that the medical assistant did was do a swab test for strep, which I expected because let’s be honest, a lot of people don’t know strep from just a sore throat. When that came back negative, the doctor finally saw me. His examination consisted of looking in my ears and shining a light in my throat, all the while keeping as much distance from me as he could.

He asked me if I was taking any medications, I told him that I was taking testosterone. It was then that he demanded to know “what for”. I told him that I was transgender and it was for hormone replacement therapy. He nearly sneered at me and took a step back. I then had to tell him more than five times the list of medications that I am allergic to. (Such a huge list at only three items). The doctor never told me what he thought was wrong with me and instead said he was going to give me some antibiotics to deal with “that thing” and gestured towards me.

He printed about seven sheets off from the printer in the room, thrust them at me and then left the room as quickly as possible.

It is times like these that make me detest going to see a doctor. I absolutely refuse to see any doctor in an emergency room. I would rather die than go to the ER while conscious. The sad thing is the way I was treated is not the exception but rather the rule for anyone that is transgender and reveals their status to a medical professional.

I once met a transwoman that was harassed and mistreated by hospital staff so badly that there was a discrimination case opened on the matter. They refused to treat her, and instead only referred to her with derogatory terms before discharging her from the ER. She had broken her foot and went untreated until visiting another hospital.
This is the common type of treatment we get, and from so-called professionals. When you are a medical professional or any professional for that matter, you need to be able to put your own personal biases aside so that you are able to fairly treat each and every patient you treat equally. You never know, when your biases result in the death of someone…

#discrimination, #discrimination-in-healthcare, #f2m, #ftm, #healthcare-2, #lgbt-discrimination, #lgbt-heathcare, #patient-first, #richmond, #transgender, #transgender-discrimination, #transgender-health-2, #transgender-healthcare, #transmen, #virginia

Administration Matters: Subcutaneous vs. Intramuscular Injection

Since March of 2013 I have been taking hormone replacement therapy; at first my wife was administering my shots once a week intramuscularly (IM), which is to say that I got a shot in the ass each week. Earlier in this year my dosage was changed from weekly to every three days and now it’s every four days. About a month ago I switched to the subcutaneous shots in the hopes that I would be able to self-administer my shots in case my wife and I were apart when I was due for my testosterone shots.

The needles for subcutaneous are a lot smaller than those for IM, the difference is a 29 gauge vs 25 gauge; the larger the gauge, the smaller the needle. The former is the same needle used for insulin injections by diabetics. Not only is the needle smaller, but the syringe itself is also smaller. While a smaller needle and syringe make the puncture from the needle less painful (if you use the same needle to draw and inject) they also make injecting the testosterone more difficult and a longer process. Testosterone is a lot more viscous than insulin, and therefore takes longer to draw and inject with such a small needle.

When I began to have my testosterone administered via subcutaneous rather than intramuscular I noticed a marked difference in the way I felt. Prior testosterone shots gave me a bit of a sore throat on occasion and I was ravenously hungry the next day. I also didn’t feel as heavy and had less problems with depression or mood swings when taking my testosterone via IM.

After my first sub q shot the entire injection site burned like it was on fire, for two days after the injection my side was extremely tender and it was uncomfortable to even have clothing touch it. I thought perhaps the reaction to the first subcue shot was a fluke and ended up taking a total of four sub q shots. All of which yielded similar after effects. Before anyone says that I was injecting wrong, my wife gives me all my shots; before she came down with fibromyalgia she was a veterinary assistant and knows how to give both subcue and IM shots. The difference in giving human shots and animals shots is pretty much nil. Also, we discussed the injection sites with my endocrinologist for a lengthy period of time before we actually administered the shots.

The biggest shock for me, was when I started having mood swings again. For no reason I would become depressed and be on the verge of tears, and the next moment I would be angry. This was on par with my issues before I started testosterone in March of 2013. Taking hormone replacement therapy has actually helped a lot with my mood swings, which was a pleasant surprise for not only myself but also my wife. It occurred to me that the cause of this sudden change in mood swings could be caused by the way that my body was or wasn’t absorbing the testosterone.

The day after I switched back to IM shots rather than sub q, the mood swings stopped, my appetite was back and I was beginning to feel a lot more normal that I had been. As the injection site pains in my sides began to fade so did my opinion that it was a good idea to take my shots sub q. The needle stick may hurt a little less, but in the end the cons are far more than the pros of taking my shots in the ass.

#f2m, #f2m-hrt, #ftm, #ftm-hrt, #hormone-replacement-therapy, #hrt, #subcutaneous-vs-intramuscular-hrt, #transgender, #transgender-health-2