Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Happy birthday, blog!

My blog is a romping little toddler of four now and hasn’t thrown too many tantrums or dropped its dinner on the floor too often. Maybe the demands for princess dresses and rainbow ponies are becoming irritating, but on the whole I think we have something to make me feel motherhood is worthwhile. 

As ever, the main point of my blog is to share my experiences in the hope that other TGirls (and TBoys, too) will know that you can live a trans life if you have the will.

I used to think that the statistics that Blogger provides were very much a boy thing and I took little account of them at first. But actually they can throw up some interesting points and help me keep posts relevant to what people like to read. I find that big, exhilarating events are most popular, and bad disasters! In fact, the five most popular reads are these:-

(1) My first trip to the Nottingham Invasion (Jan 2012), which has always been the most popular post ever:

(2) Closely followed by the second TGirl Bar in autumn 2013:

(3) Then, some way behind, are my Nostalgia Trip to Pink Punters (Dec 2012):

(4) and Nottingham Invaded again in March 2012 (see, that city is not just about Robin Hood and his men in tights):

and (5) When Surgery Goes Wrong (Again) and When Trans Life Goes Right, a post of mixed cautions and celebrations from April this year:

Thanks to all of you who read. Officially 45 of you had signed up on anniversary day, including Aimee TG, Jack Molay, Abigale Stuart, Joyful Girl, Francine and Jenna Powell in the last year (and hello to Susie Jay who signed up a couple of days ago). Thanks to TCentral for featuring me twice this year.

And now stats for the boys: As of the 4th anniversary last week the blog had had 52,959 page views, the most in one month being 2,657 (April 2015). The problem I identified last year, of the stats expanding to include two years before I started this blog, has righted itself so I think that’s now accurate. Two fifths of readers come from the United Kingdom but most of you come from other countries, especially the USA, but also Russia, Germany, France and Canada in particular. It’s good to see so many from other countries.

So although I am struggling to maintain a visible trans life at present for health reasons that I’ve explained over the last 18 months, I still plan to continue writing. I must tell you about the latest Sparkle and my closet adventures afterwards, as well as a few thoughts about trans life and community.

Thanks for reading.

Sue x

Friday, 14 August 2015

I've lost my soul

Today is the fourth anniversary of my starting writing this blog and I have always put a post up about it on the anniversary. I will, however, leave blogging about blogging for now as I want to report back on an interview with my doctor this morning that has left me feeling hopeless.

I went to have a really serious talk with my doctor (General Practitioner - GP), a woman I find it easy to talk to, as I must find better care or cure for the eczema and inflammation that has destroyed my femme life because this condition means I cannot wear makeup or use any product on my face without experiencing a severe flareup. Last week, for instance, after a day in a standard non-hypoallergenic, non-cosmetic foundation (which was Kryolan TV greasepaint suitable for all skin types, and even for kids, and which I have used regularly since 2008 with no problems) my facial skin blistered, wept and cracked and then fell off three days later and my eyelids swelled up till they looked like lychees and my neck puffed up red, pimpled and sore. It took a week to get back to merely being flaky and itchy. Other factors may have played a role: a new sleeping bag probably still with manufacturer's chemicals in it, the friend I stayed with having bad psoriasis, a different environment... I wish I could pin it down to one cause, one thing to be avoided.

The discussion with my GP this morning left me hopeless. She confirmed her colleague's views last year that there has been no progress worth speaking of in this field since I went to see the consultants 30 years ago. Indeed, she said that NHS consultant dermatologists now won't normally see any new eczema cases as this chronic condition has defied cure. This situation is a step backwards from 30 years ago. However, she will still refer me. If they turn me down then she and I will have a further discussion on what to do, including the trans factor which, in the end, I barely touched on as I felt that the reason why I would particularly want a cure makes no difference to facts: there is no certain cause and no known cure. To be fair, the Eczema Society, dermatologists, and other relevant persons have always emphasised that different things trigger it for different people (e.g. it's stress for some, but it's contact with certain things for people like me), that the condition takes different forms and intensities, and that different remedies work for different people. Like we are finding with cancer or diabetes, it might actually be a collection of similar diseases labelled under one umbrella.

I want to think about how to deal with this. Growing a beard and leaving my skin totally alone is the best remedy I have ever found and it did a lot of good but it didn't cure it off my face completely. Do I grow another beard for 1 or 2 or 3 or more years till it's all gone off my face? or try to get some femme time each month but possibly put up with inflammation and flareups for ever because it can never heal properly?

I feel really devastated as well as poxy. Without my femme life I have lost my very soul.

Sue x

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Health progress

Hello Little Blog, Mamma's left you ever so long because she's been a busy lady. A very big job to do in July, but also a trip to Sparkle and a trip to the Peak District last weekend. More about Sparkle in another post very soon.

My face is not that happy, truth be told. This eczema seems neverending. I survived two days in makeup at Sparkle although my skin suffered. I managed only one day in makeup this weekend past and it's only just settling back down after reacting badly. Whilst I suspect that I will be able to manage a day out a month from now on, a voice in my head tells me that that isn't a good idea until this problem is solved once and for all.

I have decided to grab the doctor by the throat this time as I cannot believe that there has been no progress at all in this field of medicine. The prescription I got last year was identical to the one I was given thirty years ago. Well, not quite identical: the packaging is prettier these days. And I suspect I will have to explain to the doctor why it is so important that this affliction be cured: because I am a TGirl and losing my girl face has meant reverting to male mode and thus losing my very soul. I'm not sure how the conversation will progress from there but if you aren't interested in gender surgery it's not like there's a lot for trans people in the way of assistance from the medical profession.

I'll report back in due course.

Sue x