aidenonymous: (gender)
I failed to actually post this last week when I should have, but here it is anyway.

boring )

Beep boop

Jun. 2nd, 2015 06:47 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
And I meant to post this one yesterday but fell asleep before finishing it. . .

things )
aidenonymous: (gender)
I've had a roller coaster of a week and really didn't want to write this, but I'm hoping I'll feel better getting it out.  tl;dr I've once again blown an opportunity to have gender not be a big deal in every aspect of my life and am not happy about it.

cut for abusively negative self-talk )

I did a lot more self-care today though.  I cooked two (vegan) meals for myself with enough leftovers to get halfway through next week without spending too much money and eating things I said I wouldn't.  And I got a new binder that's a lot more comfortable for long days and looks like an undershirt so I don't need an extra layer under my grown-up clothes in the heat.  I'm going to go to work tomorrow because I know being a badass at science will make me feel better about myself.

EDIT: update )
aidenonymous: (gender)
I've been having pretty bad chest dysphoria since starting my new job, and I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and do something about it, even though I'm hoping to get top surgery some time from mid-December to mid-January.  Since I'm probably going to be able to get top surgery at a hefty discount due to good health insurance, I should be able to affort to give away all my binders when I don't have breasts anymore.

The nature of the dysphoria is making this challenging.  I feel like I have to bind harder than I should because I'm androgynous but trying to be seen as male at work where people don't necessarily know I was ever anything else, so I need to make first impressions that are unambiguously male.  I'm not having breathing problems or pain so bad that I can't work, but I've been known to hurt myself with binding so need to be careful not to do that.  I'm having dysphoria when I unbind at home due to my chesticles having less volume but the same amount of skin.  I'm worried they'll deflate to the point that I will no longer qualify for peri with Dr. Fischer, which upsets me quite a bit.

I did some experimenting in front of the mirror, and in an oxford shirt, I can get away with the Extra Comfort Sports Bra in size M, although I have a problem with things not staying put because it's so big on me, and the feeling of uniboob is sickening.  I do get pain in my ribs if I wear the size S ones for too long, plus I still need to re-adjust with one of them because the material is so slippery.  EDIT: I do wonder if I'll grow into the M if I actually start working out again, or if a new one would be okay because mine's old and stretched out.

Even though I'm disinclined to try another bra hook closure binder, these look promising both because of their price and because they have elastic on the non-hook side that I think will make it less harsh on my body.  Plus, colors are fun.  q-:  I'm not crazy about the binding material basically just being a strapless band-type thing attached to the inside of a tank top though because I'm afraid I'll bulge out the top.  I'm not sure whether I'd need a size M or L either.

[livejournal.com profile] cobwebsinwhite suggested this, and it looks like it might be just what I need.  I have no way to measure myself right now but think I'm about 32" around, yet I'm still inclined to get the "youth" size from their other storefront because of a couple reviews saying they run big.  I like that it could look like a regular white undershirt under a lightweight dress shirt, too.  This seems comparable except twice the price.

Part of me wants to keep getting sportsters, and I need to remind myself that they really aren't any safer in terms of my criteria.  I'm really tempted to get another one of these even though I have to re-adjust a few times a day to keep the chesticles from getting too close to each other.  If I do it, I need to move quickly because they're no longer in production and there aren't many left.  I'm also considering this one, especially because the reviews compare it to other Underworks binders.  (Side note: I hate that the model in the photo is wearing a padded bra though (you can see it from the back) and isn't the guy in all the other photos on their F2M storefront.)
aidenonymous: (gender)
Some interesting facts have come to light that definitely influence my top surgery plans.

The plan I'll be getting through school after I transfer won't be announced until 30 June.  Though the current version covers 90% the costs in-network and 60% the costs out-of-network, I don't know their process for designating in/out-of-network providers and the plan is subject to change in the next school year.  Essentially, until the benefits are announced, I can't count on any coverage for top surgery.  That mysterious plan will take effect 21 August.

The plan I currently have through school covers 100% of the costs of top surgery with a surgeon of my choice but ends on 9 August.  I thought this meant I really had to schedule surgery before 21 July or thenabouts.  Since I'd otherwise be uninsured from 9 August until 21 August and possibly still be at a higher risk of complications, I inquired about continuing coverage with my current plan so I won't be uninsured for the two weeks in between.  I just found out I can continue coverage until 9 September with the same benefits for $384.  So, I'll definitely be doing that because being uninsured for any amount of time is beyond my risk tolerance.  As a bonus, it would buy me a little more time to decide.  I could potentially schedule surgery as late as 15 August without having to take time off from my new job.

My partner's insurance begins 1 October, and it won't cost him a cent for me to be enrolled.  Since it looks like neither his plan nor the one I'll be getting through school in the fall prohibits secondary insurance, I can be doubly insured through him.  He finally heard back from HR, and they said his plan is administrated (administered?) in California even though it's the plan for out of state employees.  That means the transition-related treatment exclusion they had is now forbidden, so top surgery would be covered to the same level as any other medically necessary surgery.  The current version of his plan would cover 100% of in-network costs and 70% of out-of-network costs, but the details may change in the new plan that won't be announced until 1 September, and I still don't know how the in/out-of-network designation is made.

So, it looks like I have some more options.  My hard deadline for guaranteed 100% coverage is now a month later than I thought, and I'll be able to decide after the plan for my new school is announced.  Woohoo!  I owe the universe some serious gratitude right now.
aidenonymous: (sulu)
I just got back from my second endocrinologist appointment.  I would have gone to work this afternoon, but I scheduled an optometrist appointment right afterwards because the offices are right next to each other, and now my eyes are too dilated to get anything done.  q-:  Good thing I can touch type and have set my screen to an insanely large font size.  Though my vision insurance is too crappy for me to get new glasses (and I have used zero benefits previously) and I still had to shell out $100 just to get lenses with my new (and still pretty weak) prescription put into an old set of frames, my appointment with the endo went well.

She immediately noticed that my voice had changed!  (-:  Okay, so I guess this is an edge case on someone noticing without being prompted, since she obviously did know I was on T, but still, I spent the whole time trying to suppress the enormous grin from taking over my face (althought that started before she said anything).  She said it sounded like it was cracking, and giggled about me being a 14-year-old boy.  Only 11 years too late!  She asked about other changes, too.  No downstairs growth, no additional body hair, still getting periods, I think that was it?  She laughed at my comparison to being a puppy (hyperactive, lots of energy, also sleeping a lot).  She didn't know anything about ADHD getting worse on T but liked my hypothesis.

I was able to be honest about giving myself half of the half dose, and she was totally cool with it.  I've got a prescription for the 1.25 g metered pump instead of 2.5 g packets, so I'll be producing less waste and getting a more consistent dose.  She asked why I did that, and I didn't have a good answer, just chalked it up to last-minute jitters about changing too fast (which isn't really what was going on, but it was early and I was inarticulate), and she wasn't critical of that at all.  I am actually satisfied with the pace of changes and am unlikely to increase my dose especially soon, but it's good to know I can whenever I want to.

Also, when I got there, the staff used my legal name, etc., but I didn't get worked up about it because I'm used to it.  My doctor however, was angry on my behalf .  Incidentally, she is trans, too, and this was the first time her new name appeared on various forms of paperwork I got.  So, the staff screwed up pronouns for us both, and she had the manager-nurse-person talk to us about it; apparently I'm the first trans person from the school to see the endo at the new site in town (last time I had to travel a couple hours in each direction), and she wants to make sure they're better about it.  We had a nice chat, and I was taken super-seriously, which felt a little funny because I don't always take myself seriously.  Anyway, I was assured it wouldn't happen again, and I felt good about helping them improve service especially for other trans*folk from my school who might be more sensitive (so, probably all of them?).  My doctor said that there would be 3-4 trans patients from my school there each time she was at that office (once per month), so that means there's about a dozen trans people currently using the school insurance.

I asked about a letter for my passport, and she said she'd get right on it but that it would take a while.  She told me that getting a gender marker changed on a driver's license/state ID is actually really easy here, and she could write me a letter for that whenever.  I'm going to make another post rambling about that because I'm not entirely sure what I want out of this and need to figure it out soon due to upcoming international travel plans and a lack of valid ID of any kind.  Anyway, I'll be getting bloodwork some time this week, and this time she'll tell me what my levels are.  When I get the e-mail about that I'm also going to ask about my pre-T levels because I'm curious.  I'll be sure to share that with the internet when I find out.  (-;
aidenonymous: (sulu)
I spent today in San Francisco and was consistently read as male.  I was "gentleman" when buying lunch, "lad" when I looked lost, and "man" when talking with strangers in a bar.  In San Francisco, where people are pretty used to differentiating between butches and men!  I feel pretty damn accomplished about that.  (-:  Oh, and I wasn't binding, and I didn't make any effort to keep my voice deep (although at least the first two instances of being correctly gendered were before I said anything), and I was wearing what are technically women's shoes (but they're Tevas and look pretty unisex anyway; I just bought them because my old ones are extremely worn out and I couldn't find my size in boys'/men's).  Anyway, still feeling like a success here!

In other news, my Frog Bra replacements from Les Love Boat arrived and leave something to be desired.  The size S of this is too big, enough that the elastic doesn't hold it in place and it rides up in the front.  I'm trying to exchange it for a different item, since getting it in a smaller size isn't an option, but if anyone here has a ribcage that's about 30"-32" around (and an overall chest measurement no more than about 36", I'd say) and has been looking for something like the Frog Bra for "lite" binding, definitely let me know.  Meanwhile, the size S of this is too small, though not unworkably so.  I was hoping it would be more forgiving like the Frog Bra, but actually it's pretty damn tight, like a real binder. . . not exactly what I was trying to get, but it will still be appreciated.  *sigh*

EDIT: Bah, the Extra Comfort Sports Bra is tighter than any other binder I own, including the Wide Coverage Short Binder I outgrew when my lats expanded from rock climbing.  If they don't let me exchange the High Performance Sports Bra for a different model, I think I'm going to try to exchange the Extra Comfort Sports Bra for a size M and hope someone will buy the High Performance Sports Bra off of me.  )-;  This is going to be expensive, and I'm moving so it's also going to get real complicated real fast.
aidenonymous: (chekhov)
By about a month ago, my shoulders grew enough that I could actually wear my Tri-top without the neckline showing through clothes.  As of a week ago, they've grown enough that I had to un-modify that binder so it wouldn't give me welts in my armpits.  (It still doesn't look great, what with the bottom hem sticking out through clothes, but it definitely doesn't need the shoulders taken in anymore.)  And today, I had to retire my most favoritest binder because it's too damn small for my hulking shoulders.  First world problems, y'hear!


Notes mostly for my own reference )
aidenonymous: (Default)
Woah, okay, I am owing this thing a huge update.  I've been getting my fair share of good news from grad schools, and I got a second job in addition to the one I just started last week.  I've also started seeing a health coach, mostly because it's half the price of therapy, and I found free therapy instead, so I'm still spending half what I'd saved up for mental health stuff anyway and hopefully I'll be eating better and continuing to exercise sufficiently.  Right, and then today I just heard back from the free therapy, which, did I mention, is free, and they apologized for technical issues that made it take so long to get back to me.  So, I've got lots of stuff to do all the time which is quite different from my usual problem of having nothing to do but wallow in self pity and give advice on tumblr.  Anyway, I will probably make a more detailed, friends-locked elaboration on this update some time soon.
aidenonymous: (Default)
Yesterday was the first meeting (over the phone) with the health coach.  I think this is something I'm going to go through with.  He got me to promise to feed myself a sensible dinner and e-mail my doctor (who dismissed my concerns as usual, thanks Kaiser).  I'm willing to spend the money and think I (and my partner) will get a lot out of it, even if the program is very focused on eating and less on exercise.  I wish I had a better sense of whether the health coach would be okay talking about trans-related things, because they're a big part of my mental health, but I don't know if that's a sensitive topic for him, being FTM himself.  I also wish fewer of the meetings would be over the phone, because my ADD makes it very hard to pay attention to someone talking if I can't see them.  I'm going to bring this up before paying for the first month, but I'm not sure what the solution could be.

I also had a minor meltdown about my hormonal situation. 
"What situation?" you might ask. . . )
aidenonymous: (sulu)
I haven't been on-line much since I went to New York, first because I was traveling and had intermittent Internet access, and then because I was focusing on my grad. school applications.  But I got a lot done yesterday and today and can take a few minutes to update and read my friends page (and post a few things that got lost in transit using the nifty "Date Out of Order" option).  Anyway, I was really in the dumps before my trip back east, and I've had a lot of energy basically since I got there, minus a few days when I had a cold since getting back.  I'm surprised that that positive energy carried over upon my return to the Bay Area, but I actually want to do things and advance my life now.  Crazy, huh?

I'll be buying a gym membership (rock climbing and yoga) later today and am so psyched about it, in part because my health insurance will cover half the cost.  And I've scheduled counseling at the local LGBTQ space for the New Year, and I'll be going to a local FTM support group to boot.  Plus I'm finally on the last attempt to cure my acne before I can try Accutane and maybe stop worrying that T will make my skin even worse than it already is.  Oh, and I found out that my current insurance covers voluntary sterilization, which I may try to wrangle into a hysto.  Progress, fuck yeah!

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