I know I’ve been very excited about this and told a lot of folks lately, but here’s the scoop: I just got a referral to a new primary care physician who is going to oversee my hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgeries.  I’m going to see him in July — his schedule is really backed up I guess — and we’re going to talk hormones.  Before the end of the summer, I should be on testosterone.  I’m setting a goal to have chest reconstruction over the semester break so I have enough time to recuperate.  I don’t plan to be taking a heavy courseload in the winter, and hopefully that will help.

This is really awesome, but also really terrifying.  I’m surer than ever that this is what I want, so it’s not that.  It’s just that it’s big-ticket stuff, major medical procedures, and science already knows testosterone therapy is going to shave years off my life.  I can’t say that the idea of that is appealing, really, but the alternatives are less so.  What is longevity without quality of life?

It’s an interesting question, and I don’t know much about medical ethics, but in my opinion living is for enjoying.  If you’re not enjoying it, and there’s no way to make it better, why would you continue to do it?  I can see this being extrapolated — in the wrong way — to be a pro-suicide argument, and I will preface this by saying I think suicide is the easy way out.  It’s cowardly, and it’s unfortunate people seem to think it’s a necessary recourse.  I’m trying to justify my medical choices, to myself, to my family, and to my friends.

To me, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery choice is, to me, a quality of life issue.  It’s not to say there are other reasons why I’d pursue them, spend time and money and risk my wellbeing on them, but the reasons that are easy to point to for me are: my extreme discomfort not wearing the binding I wear every day to make my chest look masculine, and the other medical dangers wearing the binding poses; having difficulty presenting myself in a public that requires either one gender or the other, but being pigeonholed into the less-preferred one; my apprehension about my more basic physical health — it’s hard to work out in these things, okay?

But the harder thing for me, and this is something I’m kind of banking on, is that for my entire life I’ve suffered from depression, left it undiagnosed and turned down psychiatric medication.  I sincerely believe that, at least as far as feeling depressed all the time is concerned, the medical procedures I’m going after are the better solution to my depression.  If I go on psychiatric medication, I’d only be going after the symptoms, not the source.

I’ve heard that the change in the body’s chemistry can be one of the most liberating feelings in the world.  Like somehow the insides everywhere else match the insides of the mind.  I won’t say I’m excited about the dangers involved, but I am excited about having a seriously improved quality of life.  Oh, and maybe I won’t get carded for using the bathroom at the 8 Ball anymore.

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