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  1. Hi everyone,
    I haven't been able to write for awhile - I started school again in September and that's kept me pretty busy.  I'm in the MSW (Masters in Social Work) program at NYU (New York University), which is a full-time program and includes a 21-hour/week internship on top of classes (mine is with a drop-in center for people who are homeless).
    Anyway, I didn't come on to write about that, but since the semester is over, and internship is over until late January, I have a little time.
    The big update is that my GRS is happening this coming Tuesday!  I leave for Philadelphia on Monday morning, then the surgery is at Hahneman University Hospital with Dr. Kathy Rumer.  I'll be staying in Philly for a week and coming back home after my one-week follow-up with her.
    I've already started pre-surgery prep - including stopping hormones a few weeks ago (that one hurt), and today starting an Arnica protocol (it's to reduce or eliminate bruising from the surgery).  Then on Monday I'll be on a clear-liquid diet and have to do some bowel prep (the glamorous side of surgery!).  I have to be at the hospital at 10:30 a.m. And luckily this time my insurance company didn't give me a hard time, they approved the procedure (they also eventually agreed to cover top surgery, which they had rejected initially - it's really good that I work/worked in New York where the state requires these things to be covered.
    Since July I've been seeing my therapist twice a week - she provided one of the letters that I needed, and requested the additional sessions - which I think is great (I'm actually going to miss going twice a week, but I can't afford to keep doing that).  So we've talked A LOT about the process - transitioning generally, the surgery specifically, and now the post-transition period.  I used to say that I'd probably be transitioning until I die, but lately I've decided (for myself, others may feel otherwise) that GRS essentially marks the end of my transition - at that point I'll have done as much physically as I'm going to.  Now I'm in a period of "evolution" - discovering who I am - both as a woman and just generally.  It's already begun, and it's been a great process.  I find myself moving away from LGBTQ-specific things - not as a rejection of the community, but as an acknowledgement that I'm straight (as a man I was gay, but not now), so I needed to know that I can function in "straight environments."
    So now that I'm more comfortable with school (I was worried a lot about whether I could really do it - now I feel much more confident), I'm going to try to write more.  I bought myself a separate journal to keep notes about GRS - I plan to write that first entry on the train to Philly, and then keep track of what happens, how I feel physically, and how I feel emotionally - I'll try to share some of that here as I go along, in case it's helpful to anyone (recognizing that the experience is going to be different for everyone - but there are still going to be similarities).
    I also want to write more about my "evolution" - that was something that I (understandably) didn't focus on until more recently.  The physical transition is one thing, but as I felt myself living a more authentic existence it also became important to know how I wanted to live my life.  The benefits are already huge - I find that the friendships that I had are stronger than ever, and the new people I'm meeting are really good people (mostly social work students) - and none of this would have happened without that recognition a few years ago that I am a woman, and I am transgender.
    I'll wrap this up for now - I know my attention flags sometimes on longer entries, so I'll stop taxing people's attention span :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  2. Impatiently Waiting in Finding Myself


    By WarrenG, posted
    How's it goin' people? I figured I'd update all you guys on what's been going on lately. So I had my appointment with Dr. Feins in Manchester NH for a surgery consultation for my top surgery. I felt like my head was gonna explode with having to wait for it to get here, then that morning I was dreading it the whole 2 hour ride. I did NOT want to take my shirt off and have him take pictures of my chest. Believe me, it was torment to wait and drive closer and closer, yet I didnt dare go home and chicken out.
    Thankfully this was just an update for last year's consultation so when I got there, he said he'd just use last years pictures since nothing's changed and he already knew about the 'underboob' rashes from the heat and trapped sweat from  my balloons of hell.
    Which was extremely relieving lol I was prepared to strip down to my jeans and have them take pictures and then hate myself the rest of the day, so when he said 'you're fine, I'll just use our last photos', I wanted to give him a hug lol
    He seemed a lot more confident in my new insurance and said that they normally dont have any problems getting approved for surgeries with them. (Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield). I really really wanna say 'okay, no worries, it'll be fine' but a HUGE part of me is seriously doubting all of it. I'm always afraid that I'm going to get denied and told no, and it's probably because I'd been denied so many times. I want to be optimistic but I really do not want to get my hopes up either. 
     
    Anyway, we had the whole thing done in no time (Justin was with me this time and he likes Dr.Feins, he thinks he's cool) and we sat down in the next office to do insurance prep papers (which I didnt have to do last time). I'm really really hoping that this is going to work, but I dont dare test my luck on this either. Ugh, I hate this! Now I have to wait god-knows how many weeks for the to decide and let me know if I'm due for pathetic pouting or excited bawling. 
    And anyone who knows me knows that I do not do patience very well. 
     
    Really hoping  
    -Ren

    Btw: Treadmill walking seems to be helpin out a little XD

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  3. Hello again, my Lords, Ladies and Majesties.
    Up front I want to apologize for my outburst and dramatic exit. Stress has been neck deep over here and I unfortunately dove head first into the fritz so bad that Ms. Frizzle would surely kick my not-so-royal behind. I took a break and tried to collect myself again, but I cant promise that I'm back up to par. I still have a LOT going on over here but I'll do my best. Please forgive me if I mess up on my swearing and stuff again, but yes, I did read the rules and whatnot. Thanks for letting me know about those, I hadnt seen it posted and totally missed out on it. I'm trying to think of new, inventive ways to get out my annoyance with words much more innocent (and maybe amusing). I have a bad habit of swearing, I'll admit it fully. I put full blame on that with how I grew up  Vermonters swear WAY more than we need to  
    Anyway, I guess everyone wants an update (sorry if I start sounding like alex, he's on the edge of consciousness to let me know when I'm swearing again and sometimes his influence tips into my writing >.< )
    So my little brother has been dragged to the depths of Georgia and every day he messages me it still irks me to no end. Not because he's messaging me! No way, I love him messaging me. It lets me know that he's okay at least. No he messages about all the shinanigans my older (and much less intelligent) sister is up to, normally barraging poor Kai with insults and criticism about being transgender and having his absolute own fashion sense (he seriously does lol kids today ) It annoys me so bad that she treats him like that  and there's nothing I can do about it. I legit cannot even explain how much it annoys me without going back into my swearing fest (which I'm avoiding )
    Otherwise he's alright. I plan to send him a phone card for his no-contract phone, some t-shirts (since my dead beat mother doesnt buy the poor kid clothes ) and some other random stuff so he doesnt get too sad down there. My mom is beyond ridiculous. Poor Kai, when he was visiting, came into my room all pouty and said he had to wear his boots when we were going out to lunch. When I asked why, he said it was because his shoes had finally broke. His converses, over two years old, full of holes and tears had finally decided to quit on the poor kid. You'd think, being a mom, that the darned woman would have bought her kid new shoes when they first started to break! No, she'd rather buy herself new shirts and new cowgirl boots.....UGH!!! It took me 20 minutes of convincing Kai to let me buy him shoes, giving him the end choice of buying guy shoes with me or dealing with mom buying him girl shoes later. I think it was the only reason he said yes, and it made me feel better knowing that he was being sent to Georgia with new shoes at least.
    With all that aside (for now  more drama is sure to come), this sunday is the 13th. My Surgery Consultation.
    I'm supposed to meet up with Dr. Robert Feins in Manchester NH, and a lot of people have said he's amazing. I've gone in for a consultation with him before and he is, I'll fully admit, awesome. He's super friendly and if you guys remember my blog about my first consultation with him, he's extremely thoughtful when it comes to pronouns and whatever. So I'm kind of glad to go back to him in particular, but I'm also really nervous. I have a new insurance this time, and one that someone else said had approved them for top surgery. I know that I cannot do a full removal (bummer, believe me, but I totally understand the reasons) because of my weight. Reason being that if they went totally flat chested when I have kind of a belly on me, it just would not look natural. My plan is to have them go as small as they will let me, and then I'll be able to work out easier and work it off. If I have to go back in a few years to finish it, so be it. But I'm nervous because what if my new insurance is like the last one and says no? What if they tell me I cant do the surgery without hormones, which will surely end my relationship with my boyfriend? I kind of want hormones, but I want to keep my boyfriend even more. I can totally understand HIS side of everything in not wanting me to go on hormones. I mean, come on, give the guy a applause will you?
    Justin's 10000000000% straight (was homophobic when we first met until I whipped it outta him! ) and he's dating a transguy. He let me change my name, my pronouns, my gender marker---cut my hair, change my style, etc. For a straight guy, that's a lot of leverage! We've been together 6 years this september. I cant just throw that away for a deeper voice, some muscles and facial hair (which I already fight with).
    So, yeah....Maybe nervous wasnt the right word.
    Okay, confession. I'm terrified. I dont know how I'll be able to deal with being denied surgery again. I only have 233(?)$ out of 9,000$ needed for surgery if I pay for it myself, on top of us trying to safe $ for an apartment so we can have our own place and so I can rescue Kai out of my mom's abusive household. I'm broke guys, like....legit broke. I have 20$ in my wallet right now and that's for gas money. Spring Break is here which stinks for us people who work in the education section, meaning my 30hr work week is down to 12hrs a week. My paycheck is going to be absolute bologna ((Really hope my substitutes for swears is okay so far. Let me know!!!)).
    I think in the bank, I have a maximum of 300$, which will be gone by the end of the week because of car payments. I swear, not only can I not keep up, but I cant seem to stay afloat lately either. Granted I got my taxes back, but I didnt even break 1k$!!!!!! It's almost not even worth filing taxes  So frustrating!!! I want to get a second job but I cant because then I'd lose my insurance.
    (I'm the one face first on the ground.)

    Anyway, That's basically life right now. Chaotic, annoying, frustrating, the works.

    Oh yeah, then someone told me I need to drink a cabbage/carrot/turnip drink. 0.o Like, what!? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS!?

     
    Oh yeah, and I've been going to the gym whenever I think of it and working out more on the treadmill and stuffles. 5pnds down! Which.....I'd gained from junkfood.....my bad.

    -Ren
     
     
    P.S.
    It was a rare 65F here in New England today ((IN MARCH!? WHAT!? WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?! REVEAL YOURSELF, TINY WIZARD!))
    So here's some pics of me and my Massive Moose and Fuzzy Friend, (Black Lab/Great Dane) Angel and (Collie?) Ziggy; Both rescues.



     
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  4. Last Thursday I went to Albany, NY for a surgery consultation (Surgeon who does breast augmentation + surgeon who works with transgender patients + takes my insurance = go to Albany).  The surgery won't happen until August, I have to be on HRT for a full year before insurance will cover it (they'll cover it if I'm "not comfortable with the growth that occurs after a year on HRT"), so it's tentatively scheduled for August 12.
    I got the basics down - it's an outpatient procedure that will take about an hour.  He took measurements and photos so that we can work on size issues later.
    But most important!  As I waited in the exam room for the surgeon I took a moment for a "gut check" - periodically when something is becoming "more real" I like to stop and reflect on how I feel in that moment.  This time, as with every other gut check moment so far, the feedback was "great!"
    I am still checking around for other surgeons - even if I go with this one I know I should talk to more than 1 (I did like him though)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  5. My Secret Surgery in Brigsby's Blog


    By Brigsby, posted
    I am having chest surgery in four weeks. I am super excited, and a little terrified.
    Nobody in my family knows.
    They're not supportive, and I don't want any passive-aggressive comments to bring me down.
    I'm sad that I feel I can't share this milestone with them.
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  6. Rejected. in Finding Myself


    By WarrenG, posted
    So, I got the response for my surgery.....After getting my letters in order and lining things up and rushing to get it finished for them before my insurance cuts out ((The government is apparently changing branches and cutting off my insurance before referring me to a new one)), I sent out my request for help with my surgery. Just a reduction, not a removal, and it came with nearly two pages of symptoms and sufferings in detail and with dates. Including: Neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, rashes, moving ribs, limited mobility, shortened walking distances, difficulty with stairs, muscle relaxants because of difficulty sleeping, open sores, and more.
    I got my letter in the mail just before Halloween began.
    The response?
    No.
    Just plain and simple, no. Unless I have tumors or cancer of some sort of abnormality that cannot be altered with medicine, basically...they wont touch it. They gave the option of Estrogen treatment which might do I have no idea what to help, which sounds honestly stupid to begin with. In honesty, I'd rather off myself than take estrogen.
    Wtf is the point in even trying....Every time I turn around, I get shot down and stomped on. I cant keep taking this stress and dealing with being lifted up only so they can drop me from a higher height.
    Maybe I should just go back to being Kristy and make everyone else happy...Life would be easier I guess. Not better, or happier, certainly not any more comfortable. But it seems like that's the only thing I'm allowed to do......So tired of having my heart broke....
    Tired of my family hating me. Tired of the drama where I live for being who I am. Getting a lecture for a haircut. Or them trying to convince me to wear feminine things....
    Figures, I was just starting to be happy too. First time I've been properly gendered on the first try with a stranger, earlier in the day with my neighbor.
    "Hi, who are you?" she asked. "Nice to meet you, I'm Ren" I reply. And without hesitation, she asked my neighbor (mama)'s mother "Is this your grandson?". I grinned and nodded a little "Something like that. Technically Anne Marie is my neighbor but I consider her my Mama".
    Grandson......yeah, I kinda like that.
    But then......then this happens....
    I'm just....
    So done.
     
     
     
     
    I posted this on a transregulars Facebook group I'm in (love these guys, super supportive and most are my age)
    So, recent events have prompted me to start sharing this around again....As some of you have seen already, my insurance has turned me down in my request for a top surgery. I have since talked to my doctor and surgeon, and they said that an appeal will not get far because they will simply give me the same reasons for the first rejection since nothing has changed. If two pages of agonizing symptoms didnt change their minds in the first place, it wont in a second try. Besides that fact, my insurance is cutting out in Janurary due to company changes in government, so an appeal would take too long before it would be too late. Unless I find other means of assistance with this, I'll have to pay out of pocket. The surgeon has been wonderfully helpful and understanding, but he cannot change how the fees work and cannot offer a payment plan for understandable reasons. Nevertheless, I need to somehow come up with the funds to pay for it myself. Even if you guys cannot spare a few (which I totally understand, we're all struggling and money is tight as it is.) Please feel free to pass this around. I HATE doing this and I feel like I'm begging, but in a way I guess I'm not too far from the willingness of begging on my knees. The pain I'm dealing with is beyond what I can express. My ribs are shifting, my already-damaged back is getting worse from the weight, my shoulder is being offset, I cannot sleep at night because theyre limiting my breathing and hurting my back in every position, and even binding is becoming something I dread for its ineffectiveness and unbarable agony. I'm running out of options....I'm not sure what else to do....
    -War
    https://www.gofundme.com/givewarrenahand
     
    We'll see if it goes anywhere......Halloween post in next blog.
    Seemingly slipping again,
    Warren
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  7. Gentle Reconstruction in Tara


    By Tara451, posted
    Your world can change immensely in one day. Days, months, and years of trepidation gall away once the switch changes. Decisions, once made and committed to redefine the way we engage with the world.
    in March 2015, I boarded a train for Montreal to take me to the Centre Métropolitain de Chirugie where my body world be transformed for the last time.
    The record of my musings was recorded in this existing blog. If You like what I wrote, please let me know. I may continue at tgguide.
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  8. Update on Life in Finding Myself


    By WarrenG, posted
    So I realized last night that I hadnt really updated you guys lately. I dont blog NEARLY as much as I used to, but hopefully I can bring it back up at some point
    So, so far I am LOVING my new job. The people here are SUPER supportive and understanding, and are well aware of me being transgender. They're totally cool with it, and even said that when it comes time for my surgery, as long as I give them a heads up before hand (which I totally would anyway) I can take the 2 weeks off to heal. My boss has been really cool about it and I love coming to work  

    As for my youtube, I am still attempting to keep up with it lol I have my new one (probably the shortest vid I've ever done!) and another one coming up at some point in the week. My upload times are scattered now with my new job, since I usually dont get home until around 4am on tuesday so getting up early on wednesday to film and upload is near impossible. I'm so tired! Either way, I'm doing what I can with what I have. Unfortunately my camera on my computer is nearly impossible to use as it freezes and the framerate lags like no other, so I'm reduced to using my ipod to film. Which can be a pain sometimes and looks sooooo unprofessional but....whatever. Use what I got. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Da5exjrQ8]
     
     
    In reference to the top surgery, I DID find a surgeon! The hospital I were originally supposed to go with continues to be stubborn in saying "one year of HRT" is their "policy" and they refuse to deviate from it. So I told them I'd take my business elsewhere. I found another guy who does the top surgeries, and have talked to two people who have also gone to him and said he was great. Only bad review I found about him was about a girl getting lip injections and she sounded whiny and demanding so I didnt take it to heart. He does not require HRT or a year's worth of Gender Therapy (which is great because I called to set up an appointment with one of the gender therapist. The list goes on until next year!!!). Originally my appointment were supposed to be for August 18th but they had to reschedule for September 1st because the surgery consultant is on vacation.Which is longer to wait but I'll just have to deal with it.
    So far it's looking like the insurance WILL cover the surgery since I am in pain and discomfort which disrupts my daily life, but until I see the surgeon and get all the info, I cannot be sure. Fingers crossed that they'll cover it!! The back pain has been horrible lately  I'm now at a 44DDD and my binders hurt to wear, on top of the fact that they dont really seem to do much to hide my "issues" anymore....It's super depressing. While working bar I do get the occassional "mister" or "buddy" or "guy" and "he". But I still get the she, her, miss, etc....There's not much I can do about it. I did mention to my boss out of a joke that it's a pain because sometimes you just cannot correct them without seeming rude, and she patted me on the back and said to give it time. I'm just a super impatient person.
     
    Being back on my Zoloft has helped a little bit, but I'm thinking of increasing the dosage (Yes, my doc said I could. She said to finish this week on 25mg then go to my 50mg that I have stashed away from a previous dose). So we'll see how that goes. I have resisted self harm for about a month now, and although I've had nights when I certainly were ready to break that stride, I have so far stayed away from it. I'm hoping to keep staying cut-free, and keeping myself busy at work seems to help. It's nice because a lot of my job, I'm either super busy or on my own out in the woods, which helps. Seclusion sometimes helps the anxiety.
     
    Anyways, stay awesome!
    Warren
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  9. Update on my GoFundMe in Finding Myself


    By WarrenG, posted
    Hey guys, girls and uniques
    So someone asked me to update everyone on the new look for my gofundme account, and I'll include that below.
    Not much has happened really, not much to blog about anyway. Aside from my neighbor calling in tears because her elderly doberman-mutt dog, Wheezie, was told to be put down by an emergency Vet. The poor 13 yr old pup was laying on the floor in her own feces, whining and unable to stand, her hind legs stretched out towards her front awkwardly. My neighbor, who is like a mother to me, was reasonably very upset.
    So I got some home remedies (cats claw and tumeric) to bring down and help little Wheezie with the pain. I was able to get the old girl up onto her feet after feeling her stomach, and realizing she were very gassy. Almost like Colic. Only intending on getting her up and moving around to help with the pain, I were relieved that she were more than willing to relieve herself OUTSIDE. Thats why she was whining! The poor baby knows she's not allowed to make messes in the house, but she simply couldnt stand up to go out. So after some help and walking around, I were very impressed to see her start walking around without my assistance with holding up her waist with a towel wrapped around her. She moved better as time went on, and I came to the conclusion that her Vet....is an idiot. She's not dying, she has a hip problem, and cannot get up on her own. She's old.
    He judged her inability to live simply because her hair is falling out in clumps (duh, its spring. she's shedding!) and didnt even feel her hips or digestion to give her a proper exam. I grew up around animals from bears, hawks, deer, a dozen pet raccoons and even a pet skunk. Horses, cows, ducks, you name it! I'm not animal-stupid, that's for sure. And even a low-tech Vet Tech like me could tell this animal isnt ready to die. After giving her Cats Claw and Tumeric with dinner, I told my neighbor (Anne Marie) that I would be down later tonight with a dog halter/harness (like a vest) to help her outside to use the bathroom. I were extremely pleased and surprised, however, not only to find her laying on the blankets I had laid down for her---but she got up, on her own! No assistance needed, and she went down the stairs (though a bit wobbly) without my help. Drastic Improvement! Hoping for the best for the old girl!
    Warren
    http://www.gofundme.com/giveWarrenaHand <<<<<<<updated version
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