The Next Chapter

Wanted to drop a line and explain to everyone why this blog went silent:

My former partner and I have been broken up for several months now.

At this time I have no plans to delete this blog because there’s a lot of good information here, but I don’t imagine it being updated after this.

Please refer to his blog if you wish to continue following his transition.

X marks WHICH spot??? ….aka The Old Switcheroo

Background: I do my boyfriend’s testosterone shots. He’s on weekly injections instead of every other week. The shots are given intramuscularly in his glutes. 

For the first year or so of his medical transition, we switched sides. One week it’s the right butt cheek, the next the left. For the longest time, the right side was the “good” side, and the left the “evil”, because it hurt him more. Suddenly, the sides shifted out of nowhere. All of a sudden, the right side hurt and the left was a piece of cake. 

The right got so painful for him that for a couple weeks in a row, we only did his injections on the left side. We thought it was weird, but we went along with it. I’m nervous enough giving my boyfriend shots (I have an English degree….not medical at all), and didn’t want him to be in any more pain than necessary.

Everything was groovy for a while, until the left side started sucking again. Finally, it got so bad that we decided to inject into the right side again. Magically, the right side was once again virtually pain free. 

The reason we were, initially, switching sides every week was to avoid a buildup of scar tissue on one side or the other. Common sense, basically.

** Please take what I say next with a grain of salt. I am NOT a medical professional and can only speak from the personal experiences of myself and my partner. 

I’m thinking this might have something to do with the fact that my boyfriend gets his shots every week instead of every other week. The “sides” have less time to heal between shots. Granted, I do adhere to the upper outer quadrant law, but I don’t inject into the exact same side every time.

For my partner, it seems best for us to do two or three shots on one side before switching sides. Just something to consider if you or your partner are having similar issues. So far it’s working for us!

Top Surgery Recap

Okay, now that the dust has settled and I’m back into my normal routines, I suppose a more in depth post about my boyfriend’s recent top surgery is in order.

However, first I want to say “hi!” to all of the new followers I’ve gained recently. I hope you enjoy my blog, and if you ever want to use my ask box, go for it. I promise I’m a nice person. Unless you’re a dick. Don’t be a dick.

So, the top surgery trip. PHEW. I LOVE my boyfriend’s “new” chest, but I’m glad the trip is behind us. It was incredibly stressful, especially since things didn’t go according to plan. If you want to read about it in my boyfriend’s own words, you may do so here.  LONG story short, he had some post op complications coming out of anesthesia. They couldn’t keep his oxygen levels about 80 without an oxygen mask, which meant a trip to the ER and three subsequent days in the hospital. I was already feeling grateful that his mother had come along, but being in the hospital like that (we stayed there every night with him) made me so so so much more grateful. Most of the nurses were awesome, and Dr. Garramone even came by to check on him. They thought he had pneumonia (…with no symptoms…right), but eventually decided it had something to do with being intubated for the procedure and likely a result of him smoking for almost a decade (DON’T SMOKE. QUIT NOW. YOU CAN DO IT). 

I can’t begin to tell you how terrifying and sad it was to see him having complications, to see him in the ER with all of these people swarming around him trying to figure out what was happening, to see him acting kind of out of it. It was chaotic, and I spent most of that time trying not to throw up. At one point a nurse came in to take an EKG and mentioned taking his bandage off (he was two hours post op mind you), and LUCKILY I was there when she came in because I had to inform her that NO absofuckinglutely no that bandage doesn’t come off. 

The doctors and staff in the ER were mostly confused by my boyfriend and didn’t understand what operation he’d just had despite our best efforts to explain it. They also kept misgendering him which was REALLY fucking annoying. I remember him looking up at me at one point and saying through his oxygen mask, “Baby, why do they keep doing that?” However, once he was released from the ER and admitted to a room in the hospital, most of the nurses and staff were much more considerate and did a lot better with the pronouns. 

In a weird way, spending those three days in the hospital, as fucked up as this is going to sound, helped break up our time there. I know a common complaint is that people feel stir crazy spending a week straight in a hotel not really able to do anything (believe me, I feel ya), but once he was released from the hospital and we got to go back to the hotel, it almost felt like home (anything beats a cold loud hospital). We watched movies and I gave him sponge baths. True love right there, folks. 

The drains weren’t fun, not because I was weirded out by looking at them, but because they were just in the way. Any time I wanted to hug him or any time we’d try to cuddle, I was paranoid I’d accidentally yank one out. Though admittedly, having a plastic see-through bulb of reddish muck in your face while trying to snuggle your boyfriend did take some adjusting. I did get a little grossed out whenever we’d have to empty the drains and measure what came out of them, but I just tried not to think about it.

Florida was…..Florida. I don’t really like Florida. No one there seems to be able to drive. I’m thrilled to be back home with our puppy dogs and mountains. Also, I hate flying, so that sucked too, but being old enough to drink on a plane made it so much easier (shout out to my good friend Jack: thank you sir!). 

Slowly our home life is going back to normal. I’m still helping my boyfriend lift things over five pounds or reach for dishes/pots/pans that are above his head. 

It’s really cool for me to walk into a room and see him sitting at his desk or wherever he is without a shirt on like it’s the most natural thing ever, because it IS the most natural thing ever. It’s hard to explain. I know it’s different and that he never used to do that because he wasn’t able to, but in my mind it feels like he’s always done that. 

I think the worst part of recovery at home has been the sleeping arrangement. We have a full size bed, which, under normal circumstances, is a little crowded with the two of us, our cat, and our smaller dog. Now we’ve had to add two pillows into the mix: one between us to keep him from rolling onto his side (he’s not allowed to yet) and another to put under his knees to help his back (which hurts because he has to sleep on it). Things are a little cramped, and we can’t really cuddle which is shitty. I’ll be glad when the pillows are gone. 

All in all, everything was/is fine, and we feel very fortunate. We had a lot of people supporting us, and that made all the difference in the world; you know who you are. We love you guys.

The only loose end is waiting on the hospital bill to come in the mail…. since, in the eyes of my boyfriend’s insurance, this was an “elective cosmetic procedure”, we’re pretty sure insurance won’t cover any of it. That one’s gonna hurt. 

DMV Drama

First off, we’re back! The boyfriend is healing nicely, and we’ve managed not to lose a nipple graft in the shower thus far, so all is well. 😉

HOWEVER, he’s having issues with the DMV. There is no “written” law, but all websites and people in TN agree that all you need to change your gender marker on your license is a letter from the surgeon who performed your SRS, saying it’s “irreversible” and that medically you are now male. He took that letter to the DMV and they turned him away. 

Their main supervisor wasn’t there but will be tomorrow….here’s hoping he’s able to get it changed tomorrow when he goes back. If not, we’re going to lawyer up and probably contact the ACLU.

Has anyone else in Tennessee ever been through this with the DMV? Does anyone have any advice? Does anyone know where I can find information on this on any “official” TN government website? 

Thanks in advance. We’re pretty frustrated.

Top Surgery

I’m way behind. 

 

SURPRISE! We’re leaving TOMORROW for my boyfriend’s top surgery. 

 

Expect lots of updates while we’re gone.

 

Any tips or advice from you guys who have already been through this? What are the best ways to really support my boyfriend and help him while we’re gone and going through this?

 

Happy thoughts appreciated! See you guys on the flip side. 🙂

Shot Anxiety

So I’ve noticed something recently about myself. My boyfriend has been on testosterone for a year and two months. I’ve done all of his shots except for three (I think). You’d think I’d be plenty used to it by now. I’m assuming most people start out nervous about it then get used to it. However, it’s like the reverse has happened with me. After the first couple of shots I gave him the nervousness wore off for a bit, and I was totally fine. Then randomly I started getting REALLY anxious about it, I’d say within the last 5-6 months.

Sometimes the shots hurt worse than others, which makes me feel bad even though I know it’s not my fault.

Twice now I’d nicked a vein or gone through one, resulting in zero blood in the syringe upon aspiration but when you remove the syringe BAM! Bloodpocalypse. It doesn’t hurt him per say, but the experience isn’t fun with either of us. 

Then once I aspirated and there was blood in the syringe. I was proud of the way he and I both handled it (remained calm and got a new needle), but it still freaks me out a bit.

And I’m always always always second guessing myself and where I’m injecting even though I know I’m in the safe area for gluteal IM injections. There’s just this constant fear of, oh, I don’t know, hitting a nerve or killing my boyfriend (even though I know that’s completely ridiculous/illogical).

Recently I think I’m more nervous about his shots than he is, which is hilarious to me. I’m not the one getting jabbed in the ass by someone with an English Writing degree. 

So, anyone out there have similar fears/anxieties/experiences and care to share? Or, if anyone has advice for overcoming said anxieties and irrationalities, I’m all ears (eyes?).

Hope everyone’s doing well. We’re two months away from making the trip down to Florida for my boyfriend’s top surgery. Expect more on that later.

MUCH HAPPINESS IN THIS UPDATE

Sorry for the silence everyone, but once you read this I think you’ll understand!

First off, my boyfriend received the letter from his therapist allowing him to change his gender marker on his social security card!!! However, because the damn government is closed, he has to wait until it opens again before he can change it. How f*&$*&% (sorry) annoying is that?? He also drove all the way down to our SS office to change it because he forgot that, you know, the government wasn’t functioning as it should, and was told that they couldn’t help him until it reopened. Arghhhhh! Image

He also received his therapists’ letter for a correct gender marker on his passport, but that has to wait as well.

Secondly, we had his top surgery benefit this weekend! It went GREAT! And it should have since I’ve been planning it for almost a year now with some of his closest friends. We held it at a local brewery and three different bands played. We also had raffles and a donation box. Believe it not, we raised $1,151.82! Needless to say, that exceeded our expectations and we were thrilled. Now we really only need two, MAYBE three thousand more before March and with his second job we both think that’s pretty doable. His parents came up for it which was amazing. They’ve been really supportive.

Finally, speaking of jobs, my boyfriend left his EVIL awful job working for evil awful people (the job he started three months ago when we moved in together). I don’t know if I really said anything about that, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t working out at all and things were a little stressful. He ended up getting his old job back for more money (whoo!), but the best part about him returning to his previous job is that his T will once again be covered by insurance!

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Now that he’s out of his evil job, he’s back to his old self, so that’s great, too. Honestly, the bad job affected him more emotionally than T ever has.

Things are great with us, and I hope things are great for all of you guys, too!