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KathyLauren

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Relax, I am not going to copy posts from elsewhere.  That would be too much like work!  But my introduction post left off about the time I figured out who I was.  So I will flesh out my story with an account of how my transition started.

Fall, 2015

Once I figured out that I was for sure trans, which I did by means of discussions on forums, I knew that the first thing to do was to come out to my wife.  The idea scared the crap out of me.  What if she decided that she could not live with that?  The emotional and financial cost of a divorce would be devastating.  And yet I was starting to realize that I had to take that risk.  My need to be myself was an actual need.

It took me six months to get up the nerve.

Spring 2016

We were out walking the dog when I brought it up.  I told her that I was "pretty sure" I was transgender, that I had wanted to be a woman most of my life, but that I had been in denial about it.  When she asked what I intended to do about it, I assured her that I had no intention of leaving, and that I thought the next step should be to see a therapist.  Then she said that, whatever I decided to do, she would support me.

I decided immediately to come out to my next door neighbour.  We have great neighbours, a lesbian couple.  One of them, I knew worked with LGBT youth, and I was sure she could help me get started.  In my email to her, I said, "I understand that you work with LGBT youth.  Well, I am not a youth, and I am not G or B.  But I am pretty sure I am T."

She helped me to figure out what resources were available in the local area.  I contacted the mental health unit of a hospital in the area, the official way to get into the system.
 

KathyLauren

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Summer 2016

I had an intake appointment with a social worker at the mental health unit.  We spent an hour in a question-and-answer interview where he learned my story.  He assured me that my case sounded pretty open-and-shut.  He would be recommending me to start hormone readiness counselling right away.

"Right away" turned out to mean four months later!  Our publicly-funded health care has the advantage of being inexpensive, but the waiting lists are insane.  Here I was, aged 61, with at least 2/3 of my life gone.  I wanted the fast track.  So, since my wife's pension plan would pay for a psychologist if I was referred by my doctor, I decided to go that route.

I was able to get in to see my doctor in a couple of weeks.  I don't know who was more uncomfortable, her or me, as I came out and made my request.  But she agreed to refer me to the psychologist of my choice.

Fall 2016

I got in to see the psychologist within just a few weeks.  In my first appointment, she asked why I was there.  I told her straight out that I wanted a hormone readiness letter.  We proceeded to do the full bio thing.  At the end of the first hour-long session, she said, "Don't worry, you'll get your letter."
 

KathyLauren

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Winter 2016-2017

My psychologist referred me to a sexual health clinic for HRT.  While their main focus is STDs, they have a busy sideline of providing HRT to medically-simple cases.  Being referred there was a big help, because their wait list was only a couple of months, whereas the only WPATH-qualified endo in town had a waitlist of two years.

I started HRT on Januart 20th, 2017.  :)

Spring 2017

I found that I had noticeable breast growth within a few weeks.  Which put a deadline on my going full-time.  I had been dressing in women's clothes full-time at home and part-time when attending support group meetings.  I found it harder and harder to go back to men's clothes when I wasn't presenting.  SO the pressure to come out to the world was getting intense.

On April 20th, 2017, I stood up at the weekly community coffee group, called for the group's attention, and announced that I had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and that henceforth, I would be presenting as female and answering to the name Kathy.  I got a few surprised looks, but also a lot of immediate support.

A few days later, I came out to the volunteer fire department, of which I was a member.  Again, surprised looks, but also support.
 

KathyLauren

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Fall 2017 - Fall 2018

By the time I had been full-time for several months, I knew for certain that there was no going back.  I liked who I was as a woman too much to ever consider going back to being male.  So it was time to complete the journey.  I asked my doctor to get me into the queue for GRS.

That began a two-and-a-half year waiting game that is only now drawing to a close.  First, I had to get all my letters.  Our local public health insurance requires the WPATH standard two letters, with an additional requirement that one letter must be from a medical specialist.  For some people, that means getting three letters.  My doctor figured that the easiest and quickest way was for one of my two "mental health professionals" to be a psychiatrist, which is a medical specialty.  That way, I only needed two letters.  She referred me to a psychiatrist that was three and a half hours away, because her waiting list was "only" a year.

While waiting for that appointment, I arranged with my own therapist to get my second letter.  So, a year after the referral, I called up the psychiatrist's office and confirmed that I was still on the waiting list.  I asked the secretary if she had any idea how much longer it would be.  "Probably a year", she said.  AARGH!!  Fortunately, the shrink took pity on me and I got an appointment within another month.  It pays to be a squeaky wheel.

I drove three and a half hours each way for an appointment that lasted less than half an hour.  She asked me a bunch of yes-no questions about mental illnesses that I might have had.  That was it.  It then took another couple of months of email reminders before she actually wrote the letter.

2019

Early in 2019, I got funding approval for my surgery, and my request was sent to the clinic in Montreal.  This year has been filled with meeting their administrative requirements and then sitting on their waiting list.  Finally, in October, I got my surgery date: March 11th, 2020.  ;D
 

Donica

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I'm so happy you got your GRS surgery date Kathy. It looks like we may be having GRS at the same time. It all depends on when my electrolysis releases me. The plan is March/April. So far we are on schedule for March.

Hugs!
 

KathyLauren

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Donica said:
I'm so happy you got your GRS surgery date Kathy. It looks like we may be having GRS at the same time. It all depends on when my electrolysis releases me. The plan is March/April. So far we are on schedule for March.

Hugs!

Yays!!  That is great, Donica! 

My wife got me an iPad for my birthday, so I will be able to stay in touch when I am in Montreal.  I plan to post updates.
 

OzGirl

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Kathy, thank you for your transition story, and you have amazing patience! It took me 39 days from getting a referral to see a gender psychologist to starting HRT, and If I had my private health insurance sorted earlier, I could have been having my GRS 15 months after starting HRT. As it is it will still only be 22 months, and I am sort of happy to have the time to get myself prepared. Of course I will be eagerly following your reports on happenings after March 11th. March is a big month for me as well as it marks one year on HRT and my going full time. My birthday and 20th wedding anniversary (and last...) are on March 1st, so I am organising a family get together to celebrate, and see me for the last time as a male.

Are you getting excited/nervous about your upcoming op?

Hugs,

Allie
 

pamelatransuk

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Thank you Kathy for the history of your journey.

I note you will be 38 months from starting HRT to GRS and I expect 3 years for me meaning around February 2021 and I am researching surgeons and surgeries - I need to finally decide urgently whether MDV or "Fully Functional".

As you know we have been in correspondence on another site for 2 years.

I am thinking of you now at this time of preparation and truly hope everything goes to plan perfectly.

Hugs

Pamela  xx
 

TonyaJanelle

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Thought I'd let folks that don't visit that other place know  that Kathy had her GCS today.

Congratulations Kathy.



Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

 

Lexxi

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Hey that's great news. Thanks for telling us Tonya.

Kathy...congratulations if you're reading this!!!
 

Linde

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Thanks for letting us know Tonya!
Congrats Kathy.
It is kind of nice that we are all staggered with this surgery and can learn from each other!

Hugs
Linde
 

OzGirl

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I'm not sure why, but Kathy completing her surgery has made my day! I hope she takes time to rest and then let us know how she feels. Congratulations Kathy!

Hugs,

Allie
 

KathyLauren

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Thank, ladies.  And thanks, Tonya, for letting folks know.

It all went well.  Aside from barfing up the crackers they gave me for supper, yesterday.  No pain today.  I just had breakfast and it stayed down.  My mission for today is apparently to walk.

Kathy
 

Katie

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[member=34]KathyLauren[/member] I am so happy to read that it went well and you are recovering well!
 

Linde

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KathyLauren said:
Thank, ladies.  And thanks, Tonya, for letting folks know.

It all went well.  Aside from barfing up the crackers they gave me for supper, yesterday.  No pain today.  I just had breakfast and it stayed down.  My mission for today is apparently to walk.

Kathy
This sounds great!  Keep close notes what to do to feel as good as you are, Tonya an I may want to follow them!

Hugs
Linde
 

Maddie

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Hi again Kathy!
So glad it went well.
Good luck with mission:walk
 

Donica

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KathyLauren said:
Thank, ladies.  And thanks, Tonya, for letting folks know.

It all went well.  Aside from barfing up the crackers they gave me for supper, yesterday.  No pain today.  I just had breakfast and it stayed down.  My mission for today is apparently to walk.

Kathy

Glad to hear everything went well Kathy. The cracker tosses are par for the course. I was sick for two days after my FFS. I was under for 12 hours.

Hugs!
 

Monica

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Kathy, simply awesome Girl, congrats!

So happy for you. No 'moon' walking I hope! Something to think about! I really felt better once I got past the pain killers. They cause nausea. Now rest as much as you can.
Mon
 

KathyLauren

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Moni said:
Kathy, simply awesome Girl, congrats!

So happy for you. No 'moon' walking I hope! Something to think about! I really felt better once I got past the pain killers. They cause nausea. Now rest as much as you can.
Mon
I don’t know about moon walking.  (?). The only painkillers they have had me on areTylenol.  None of the heavy duty opiates.  The nurse figured it was leftover anesthetic in my system that made me toss my crackers.  Now my challenge is to deal with enough gas to inflate the Goodyear blimp.  Might have to have prune juice for lunch.

I am feeling pretty good.  The poor lady in the bed next to me in the hospital room had a rough time.  She was in a lot of pain.  My biggest pain was from the gas.
 

Linde

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KathyLauren said:
I don’t know about moon walking.  (?). The only painkillers they have had me on areTylenol.  None of the heavy duty opiates.  The nurse figured it was leftover anesthetic in my system that made me toss my crackers.  Now my challenge is to deal with enough gas to inflate the Goodyear blimp.  Might have to have prune juice for lunch.

I am feeling pretty good.  The poor lady in the bed next to me in the hospital room had a rough time.  She was in a lot of pain.  My biggest pain was from the gas.
Being on Tylenol only sounds really good to me!  I hope it will continue that way!  I am on heavier duty stuff for my stupid ciatica!  Did they pump you up for the surgery, or is it gas from your digestive system?

Hugs
Linde
 
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