I had my neurology appointment today and to be honest, I wished I didn’t know now what I didn’t know before I walked into that room.
First, it was probably for the best I hadn’t started HRT. If I had, they would stopped it after seeing my scans, (if I had lived long enough to have them done at all.) I mentioned before there was evidence I have had micro strokes in the past but I was completely unprepared for the amount of damage in the images I was shown. I misunderstood how widespread it was on both sides of my brain. This alone disqualifies me for any form of hormone therapy. It also marks me as at elevated risk of a major stroke or heart attack.
The second issue is the amount of atrophy seen in the memory centers, it explains a lot of issues I have having over the past year or two. It also explains all of those “squirrel” moments I have. lol All joking aside, this is a serious concern as I already knew I had issues with short term memory, thing such as forgetting chores and other daily tasks if anything at all interrupted my plans during the day. It might also explain why I have a better time remembering things which happened far back in my past. (You know, I remember some useless thing from twenty years ago but can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning.)
The third thing is the doctor is concerned enough she ordered a three part plan to try and see just how bad are. It includes additional blood work, a thyroid panel, and adjustments to my medications.
I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but it isn’t easy.
I had thought to write something a little more personal but it seems I jinxed myself. Tonight went kind of weird and now I don’t have the focus to share anything which would make any sense at all so it will have to wait.
There is a lifetime of difference between making a choice, (even a bad one), and knowing you have no choice at all.
I had my doctors appointment today to go over the results of the MRI along with my hearing issues. I’ll cut to the chase here and then work through what I’m thinking.
First, it appears I have had a long history of micro strokes going back more than six months and probably much longer. There is also evidence of extensive blood vessel damage throughout my brain which is only going to get worse as time passes which might mean more micro strokes or even a major event. At this point the doctors not sure exactly what’s going on but he is worried, so he is trying to get me a neurology referral so they can do more tests. He is also getting me a cardiac sonogram to look at the arteries in my neck to make sure there aren’t issues there. He’s also making changes to my medications, mainly blood thinners, as a stop gape until more information becomes available. unfortunately I already bruise and bleed far too easily and this is going to make that worse but it’s a risk he feels we need to take.
Second, these medical concerns assure I will have zero chance of pursuing any form of medical transition. Estrogen would raise my risk of heart attack or stroke to an unacceptable level if not kill me out right. Surgeries are also off the table when I could bleed out. Of course, surgery was a long shot at best for financial reasons, but it’s moot now. So, wherever I am now, it’s where I’m going to stay.
This of course is a lot to process and doing so is going to take some time, as much as I would like to make a snap decision on future plans, I know it would be the wrong path to take. There is just too much damage which would be done to my physical and mental health.
I do have some thoughts on what comes next, but I’m not comfortable discussing them yet. Maybe at some point soon, we’ll just play it by ear for the moment.
I was advised I should write this post even though I’m not at all sure it is in my best interest. I have to admit I have come close to making similar decisions, but in the end, I didn’t share those thoughts.
I have a habit of making flash decisions, my mind turning on a dime with me simply reacting without any thought. More often than not, these have worked out for me with little regret, yet there is always the chance I will make a mistake I can’t take back or correct, which is why I make such an effort to keep them to myself; but sometimes that just isn’t feasible and this is one of those times.
There have been many issues in my everyday life that have made this journey much more difficult than I could have imagined. Some are large, others small, but even they add up with time and one last thing which happened within the past week proved to be the final thing that broke me.
I don’t know how to express what happened in my own mind, all that’s important is it flipped a switch and I knew I was done with ever trying to move past this point in transitioning, in fact, I am returning to using my given name everywhere but here simply because it would make things too difficult for me to keep this blog going at all. In the real world, I am also going back to using he/him pronouns and male clothing as soon as I can acquire some.
It’s been an interesting ride, but it’s time.
When someone else says it better than you can.
For 79 years, Patricia Hailes lived life as a man. She often kept a dress with her, to slip into when no-one was watching. But, nearing the end of her life, she decided it was time to stop hiding. Approaching her ninth decade, she tells HANNA McCALLUM how she finally found the courage to embrace her true self.
To transition, going from one side to another. We talk about gender transition as a grand narrative, a journey undertaken moving out of the discomfort of the assigned into the hopeful ease of the chosen. There is a lyrical quality to this, indeed the English vocabulary built up over decades has moved from the clinical into the personally abstract. What is transgender anyhow if not to set up apart as sojourners of our own personal truth? If the antonym of trans is cis, then why not play and embrace the language we use?