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Donica

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Hello everyone! Welcome to my transition journey.

I'm Donica, and I am a transsexual women (MTF) pronouns She, Her. I am starting this thread to help me keep a record of my transitioning progress and to also help those with my experience of transitioning while living with less than perfect health.

Before I started this journey, I did exhaustive research, with very few results, on the subject of transitioning at the age of 60+ with health issues to help reassure myself that I would be able to complete my journey. So far, the only information I was able to find (as quoted by Dr. Marci Bowers) is that, as long as my health issues are well under control, this journey WILL continue. So fasten your seatbelts ladies and gents because this ride is about to start.

But first, a little background. This blog will be the continuation of my journey from another place far far away and much less favorable, that shall remain nameless. This part may be familiar to many of you. I have been trans for as far back as I can remember. At age 5, I was sneaking into my mother's closet, wearing her clothes, at a very real risk of not making it to my 6th birthday, had my father of caught me. I moved out on my own at 18 and cross-dressed every chance I could get. Thinking this may just be a phase, I got married and raised two children, but couldn't stop crossdressing, sometimes in public. We separated in 2011 and divorced in 2016 for reasons other than the crossdressing, and the kids are now on their own. They were not surprised when I told them I was trans. I can see my X rolling her eyes again.

I came all the way out of the closet 07/25/2017. Started HRT 08/22/2017 at which point, I hit the ground running. Voice therapy, electrolysis. I began my Real Life Experience (full time as Donica) 06/09/2018, and changed my name and gender 10/30/2018. AT this point, I began the referral processes for FFS, GRS and BA.

Next up, FFS surgery.
For now, hugs!
 
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Donica

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09/06/2019 FFS Surgery.

Fast forward through the last 2 years of my life and LGBT events, parties and holiday events, to my FFS surgery. I had my first consult with the facial team for FFS on 09/26/2018. My second phone consult was on 11/08/2018 and last, my facial CT scan on 11/23/2018. I then had FFS surgery on 09/06/2019. I had the complete facial job less tracheal shave. Hairline advancement, forehead/brow ridge reshaping, quad blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, upper lip lift, mandible and Chin reshaping. The whole operation took 12 hours.

Sometimes things go horribly wrong for one reason or another and sometimes for no reason at all. As a result of the hairline advancement, I had developed necrosis of my frontal flap during the first week of my recovery, before the compression bandages were removed. The whole frontal flap had to be debrided. My surgeon believes this may have been a result of an overly aggressive hairline advancement. Never the less, my picture has been circulated throughout the whole facial team with a warning to use caution during this procedure.

Overall, the rest of the operation was a great success. I'm only a little over 3 months post-op so there is still some swelling but already I can see a huge feminizing difference. The debridement is still healing but a least I can now wear a wig.

I am now in the queue for GRS sometime in March. Preparation for this next surgery has been somewhat arduous, but is progressing on schedule. More on that as my surgery date  get closer.

Hugs!
 

Linde

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Wow, they really took your entire face apart!  Were you not scared about this?  And how was the pain after it?
I admire you ladies who are willing to undergo these really invasive procedures!
Hugs
Linde
 

Donica

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I would like to talk about something that has been bothering me since last Thanksgiving. Those of you that know me may also know my bestie. Because she is not yet a member here, I will call her "A". A little history, "A" and I met around 2 years ago through the LGBT community, and fell into a close friendship, and have been attending events together ever since.

I could not think of taking our relationship any deeper than just friends until after my bottom surgery, early next year. I just can't get past those things hanging between our legs. I guess I may be a lesbian. As it turns out, "A" recently made it clear that she felt the same way (just friends). However, we seemed to be getting closer and closer to the point I thought there might be a chance in our future.

That all changes last Thanksgiving at a gathering for our trans friends that could not be with family for the holiday. "A", as she usually did, asked me to help her co-host the event. I did not see all the events leading up to this change, nor did I here of this, as I was busy co-hosting. After all our friends left for the evening, "A" told me that her and several other ladies had a rather heated kissing fest in the kitchen with talk of going further. "A" then told me that she was interested in exploring this activity.

With my heart sinking rapidly, I told "A" I was not into that at this point. So, there was another trans girl at the party, who I will call "D", that did see the fun in the kitchen that night. I was told "D" became very jealous. 2 days later, "A" told me that "D" asked her out on a date. "A" then told me she would go on the date and see what happens. Well, 2 days later, I found a post on FB stating that "A" and "D" were now in a relationship.

That's when my heart hit the floor. Since then I have found it difficult to participate or even respond to them. I just can't bring myself to see the 2 of them together. This has changed how I view my relationship with "A". I no longer see any future with "A" other than a friendship. This was all so sudden that most of our friends are a bit confused. "A" has been my caregiver through my FFS recovery as I have been hers. "A" was supposed to be my caregiver through my GRS recovery. "A" told me that her and "D" have decided to take care of me during my recovery. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Things change. Relationships fall and thrive. I do wish them both well. I guess I still need my space. Maybe it's the HRT. Thanks for letting me rant.

Hugs!
 
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Linde

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Doncia, I understand you, cause I am in a somewhat similar situation.  i met a nice butch lady on on of the LGBT dance nights, and we got pretty close to each other.  I was hoping that I have met my future girlfriend and partner, and we emailed a lot with each other.  I finally came out to her that I am intersex, and have lived a large chunk of my life as a man (I did not even mention the parts), and that was it.  She never returned any mails to me and did no follow up with our dating at the different dances.

I really was hoping, like you were!
I feel with you!

Hugs
Linde
 

Donica

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Thank you for your comments Linda. They are much appreciated.
And now going back to some earlier transitioning days that I thought are worth mentioning.

December 18, 2018 Jury duty.

Here I sit like bird's in the wilderness with jury summons in hand, in the courthouse  Well, I couldn't convince them that I'm a old crazy lady so they put me in the box with 11 other jury members. Trial starts tomorrow morning.

December 19, 2018. The trial.

Verdict, not guilty! Now, back to my life.  I just got home and kicked off the heels and warmed up to a glass of wine. I wore a black business skirt, pantyhose, white button down blouse and a black blazer with black heels. Nails done with full makeup and hair styled.

I was so worried about serving on a jury panel as my new self. Yet again, my fears of serving as my new self was a big non-event. If fact, it was very affirming and educational. Not one miss-gender all week. Nothing but ma'am's and Ms., opening and holding doors and elevators for me. Everyone from my fellow jurors too all the court officials and cafeteria employees. A big confidence builder. Not even a second glance when using the ladies room every day. I was welcomed.
 

Donica

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December 25, 2018

It's Christmas! I wanted to share my new Christmas tree with all of you. I bought a small 2ft tree when I first moved into my apartment 6 years ago after the divorce. This year I wanted to throw out all of those old memories and buy a new tree that will represent my new life in transition. The ex took all the old decorations which is fine because this in a new beginning. No room for old memories. At least not the bad ones.

So last week, my bestie "A" and I did some Christmas shopping together. I saw this new tree and I just had to have it. It is bare at the moment. All to more represent a new beginning. I plan to put some thought into each decoration I purchase as each one will represent every new milestone in my transition journey. My journey actually began mid last year so I have some Christmas decoration shopping to do to catch up.

First up will be an angel for the top of my new tree as I seem to have an angel in heaven watching over me and many new friends to stand with me.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!!
 

Donica

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January 23, 2019 Legal name and gender change.

A note for all that are planning to change their name and gender, or even just your name change.

It appears that I have fallen down the rabbit hole into a mess of dropped and still bouncing balls as our dear sister “S” has experienced with SSA, Medicare and Kaiser, failing to properly update their records.

As “S” has informed us in her thread, it is not enough to expect SSA to complete their process of properly updating their records. With all my legal documents in hand, I filed my name and gender change with SSA back in October of last year (2018). Their records reflect all the correct changes and I received a new card. However, they failed to update their MASTER RECORD so that Medicare could follow up with their record change process.

I finally contacted Medicare to see what their holdup was only to learn that SSA had dropped the ball. Two calls to SSA later, I finally got them to update their MASTER RECORD. Great! Medicare then followed up with their records changes and sent me my new Medicare card 7 days later. Again, Great! Upon receiving my new MC card, I contacted Kaiser Member Services and requested updates and a new card.

After a month, I started sending emails and calls to Kaiser Member Services. They too had dropped the ball and didn't follow up. Member services just kept telling me they had to wait for a updated file from Medicare? And now, another month later, I called Medicare to find out why this updated file has not been sent to Kaiser? They told me it is Kaiser’s responsibility to contact Medicare??? Ok, my head is spinning now!

During my next call with Medicare, I learned that my gender marker had not been properly update by SSA. So, back to SSA with a call to their main office, They found their gender marker mistake in their master records but were unable to correct it from their end? They told me it had to be corrected at the local office that I originally filed my legal documents with. The SSA representative was very apologetic and helpful (which is saying alot since they are not being payed right now) and went out of her way to forward a request to my local SSA office to update my gender marker in their master record and forward the correction to Medicare. They already have my correct gender marker in their records, just not in the master record.

Realizing it was not all Kaiser's fault for the holdup, I called member services again and informed them of the mistake by SSA. Member services then informed me that they had been contacted by Medicare and actually had all my new information, just the wrong marker, and asked her supervisor if it was possible for them to just update my medical records and send me a new card. Her supervisor then sent the request to the main Kaiser office.

Because my Kaiser health care plan goes through Medicare, I may still have to wait for another around of updates. The member services representative told me to give it two more weeks for Kaiser to ok the update and if I haven't received a new med card yet, to start calling and emailing again!!!

So, bottom line, don't expect them to do their job complete and correctly for one reason or another. Their personnel may not even know the proper procedures. You will have to do their job for them. You will need to be diligent and patient with them. They really are trying to do the right thing.

Hugs!

 

Donica

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So back to present day and on with the new. There is still a lot of history left in that far... far away place. I will keep the rest in my backup file for those walks down memory lane.

I just got home from another 3 hour session of electrolysis, aka HOT NEEDLE TORTURE (HNT) in some circles. So far I only have 40 hours on my face. I only have another 160+ hours to go. OOOHHH YAYYY! I now have 60 hours of bottom prep and because of the density (or lack there of), I may only have another 40 hours or less to go. It now only takes a little over an hour to completely clear the hair from down below, so I should be ready for bottom surgery sometime in March/April of next year. I already have both of my letters, consultations, approvals and the mandatory GRS (GAS) class and I'm already in the Queue. I'm sure they will also sneak in labs somewhere along the way. I don't have a surgery date yet as the real defining factor for that is whenever I'm completely clear of bottom hair.

I think I stumbled onto the right key for using the numbing creams. I have used 3 different types of numbing cream. First I used a recommended OTC cream called LMX-4, which I believe is a 4% Lidocaine which worked just ok. I seemed to need more strength, so I moved to a prescription EMLA. The Kaiser version is called "2.5% Lidocaine and 2.5% Prilocaine" Which worked a little better. Plus it's covered on my prescription plan. I had heard about BLT and it's varying doses. That also worked a little better than LMX-4 or LMX-5 but it didn't seem to penetrate as deep the EMLA. BLT is a prescription compound cream that is quite expensive, especially for how well it works, not to mention it's not covered in my plan. The compound I used was 20% Benzocaine 10% Prilocaine and 4% Tetracaine.

Frustrated with the LMX-4 and BLT, I went back to the EMLA. I did some experimenting with frustrating results until today. The key for me is to massage it in well, 1 and 1/2 hours beforehand and then immediately cover with Saran Wrap. Then, 1/2 hour beforehand, massage in well another coat and immediately recover. Then just before leaving, I put on a thick coat and then recovered. Off I went to my session. I barely felt a thing for the whole 3 hours. In fact, if it wasn't for the conversation, I would have fallen asleep. Oh yay, I should also mention that I took 2 tylenols about an hour beforehand.

Understand that YMMV so it may or may not work the same way for you.

Hugs!
 

Donica

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                                                                Wishing you love, happiness and prosperity.
                                                              The strength and courage to reach our goals.
                                                              Sharing out lives with many new and wonderful
                                                        friends and keeping our old friends close to our heart.

                                                                                                           

                              Happy New Year 2020!
 

Jessica

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Donica said:
                                                                Wishing you love, happiness and prosperity.
                                                              The strength and courage to reach our goals.
                                                              Sharing out lives with many new and wonderful
                                                        friends and keeping our old friends close to our heart.

                                                                                                           

                              Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year Donica!
You are looking quite lovely this last morning of the decade!

Hugs and smiles from another California girl

 

OzGirl

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Donica, thank you for reposting your story here, I hadn’t read it before. You have certainly been on the roller coaster, but you seem to now be in a good place, and looking very pretty I might add! I hope your GRS goes smoothly and it opens up your life in 2020 to new relationships and possibly more. I will definitely be following your story!

Hugs,

Allie
 

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Happy new year, Donica!
 

Donica

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Just a little update 01/21/2020

After many months (more like over a year) on the fence about changing over from estradiol pills (sublingual) to injections, I finally took the plunge. After another 3 month followup visit with my endocrinologist yesterday, I walked away with my prescription for estradiol cypionate injections. I've read about the many benefits for changing to E injections. So, no more procrastination from this girl.

I also walked away with a new prescription for prometrium progesterone (micronized) oral. Unfortunately, Kaiser SoCal only covers the medroxyprogesterone (which as most of you may know, is the less favorable stuff), so this will be an out of pocket expense. Fortunately I have found coupons through GoodRx that will indeed help with the expense. There are other coupon apps out there but of the ones I researched, GoodRx was the cheapest.

Still on schedule for bottom surgery. The plan has been to be ready by this March. Although, realistically, it may be more like April. My electrolysis is the defining factor in this case.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful year so far.
Hugs!
 

Linde

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@ Donica
It looks as if there might be a burst of bottom surgeries this spring/summer!
You are waiting for yours, Tonya is waiting to be called, and my insurance approved my procedure and I am ready to hit the operating table, too!
 

Donica

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                                            Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!!

                                         
 

Donica

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Just a fun little story.

A little history first. I moved into to a gated retirement community 8 years ago, before I began to transition. I was the youngest man in the community, and apparently, a handsome young lad. So the women here have been very very nice to me over the years, almost to the point of being scary. (I make sure my door is locked every night.) That is until I came out three years ago. The ladies here are just friendly now except for one who turned out to be a bigot.

So on to the new. I have been interest in moving to a new retirement community. Yesterday I went to their office to get a application. As I approached the office, I saw an elderly gentleman sitting out front. Out of the blue he said with an ear-to-ear grin like Joey Tribbiani, "Your a tall lady". This caught off guard and I didn't know what to say except, "Oh,,, thank you?,,," as I smiled.

I continued on with my business wondering, is this going to be a 180 degree opposite of my current community? Should I be worried about the men in this new community being very very friendly? Am I going to have to make sure I lock my door every night? I can see it now, "New hot chick just moved into 3B". Men are far more bold than women. Ok ok! I'm overthinking it. It was very affirming for me. The Gent made me feel good. Just having fun with the possibilities. It is a much nicer place, but the waiting list is long.

Hugs!
 

Donica

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Christine said:
Hi Donica,          19 February 2020

"It is a much nicer place, but the waiting list is long."

What kind of waiting list is it; Wanting in or Dying to get out?

If the "wanting in" list is long, it's a safe bet. If it's short, I'd look elsewhere.

Take care and hope you find a good one.

Best Always, Love

Christine

Hi Christine! The new place has a 1 to 2 year waiting list. The place I'm in now doesn't have any amenities at all, except a common room, AC, cable and a laundry room, shared by all tenants, and no pets allowed. And it's $200 dollars more. The new place has everything you would expect in retirement community. Pool, jacuzzi, rec room, common room, washer and dryer hookups, dish washer, refrigerator, AC, cable, and elevators. Plus, pets are welcome. It's sooooo much nicer, and a little bigger with more storage.

My current place is under an affordable housing tax credit contract with the city, but the contract runs out this September and then the rent goes up. The new place is under the same contract with the same city, but it doesn't run out until 2060. I mean, WTH am I doing living here and paying more money, when I could be living far more comfortable for $200 less. Wish I had known about this 8 years ago.
 

Donica

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New GCS Update 02/25/2020

I had another electrolysis session yesterday. My electrolysis told me she wants to see me one more time in two weeks (March 9th). She told me to make my final genital hair clearance inspection appointment with plastic surgery. I emailed my GCS care coordinator nurse with the good news and he replied, once plastic surgery is satisfied, I can expect a surgery date in 2 to 3 months. He told me to be ready because it could happen sooner. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for May but it may not happen until June or July. UGH! At least I'm done with bottom HNT.

Hugs!
 

Donica

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Well it's March 9th and I'm prepping for my last bottom HNT session this afternoon. New update! My GCS care coordinator nurse sent me another email. He asked me since he already had me in the queue for early May, would I be ok with that for surgery? Well of course you know how I responded..... SQUEEEE AND A BIG HELL YEAH!!! So it's up to my genital hair clearance inspection next month. If they are happy, It could be early May. Fingers crossed.
 
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