Showing posts with label transgender veteran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transgender veteran. Show all posts

Saturday, August 7, 2021

The "Flip" Side

Liz and I at Cincinnati Pride 
 The second part of my post I started recently which mentioned  being envious of missing the life I lived as a young boy who desperately wanted to be a girl.

All in all, my story isn't much different from most of yours. Where we all differ is how far we went to conceal hiding our authentic selves in the closet.


During my youth in the 1950's, information on any or all gender differences was out of reach to me. I felt all alone. I wanted a doll for Christmas, not the BB gun I was gifted  As it turned out, Christmas was just the beginning of my problems, Another example I remember like it was yesterday was when our family was on a vacation to Ontario Canada from Ohio. One day, as the trip was at it's most boring we pulled up even and passed a car in which a young dark haired girl approximately my age was riding. Almost immediately I wanted so bad to be her. So badly I put my pillow over my face and pretended to go to sleep.

My desire to be a girl went far beyond going on vacation. During junior high school (7th thru 9th) grades where I went to school, I ended up setting close to the same girl in many classes and study halls. As I slowly began to develop a crush on her, I started to notice I was somehow different. I didn't desire her sexually at all. I wanted to be her. So much so, I adopted her name when I hid behind my families' back and dressed as a girl, 

Somehow I thought I would outgrow it, the ugly idea the whole idea was some sort of an evil phase. Still, I felt so alone in my cross dressing closet. 

Alone I would stay through high school until I finally shared my not so minor secret to the woman who was destined to be my first finance, In return for a couple nights of passion when she helped be to dress up she later was the person who rejected me when I was drafted and had to go in the Army, At the time the whole process was devastating to me but later turned out to be one of the best happenings of my life. 

Sure I had to put my feminine clothes away for my first two of three years in the military, ironically I was still in the Army when I came out to the first people in my life who accepted me. Including the woman who was to become the mother of my very accepting daughter. 

My life after the Army was an alcoholic blur for years until I slowly realized I was in reality a member of the new transgender group of people. More on that later. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Therapy

 

Therapist at work.

Since my fairly recent post concerning my therapist, I have received several comments, including a lengthy one from my partner Liz. Among others things, she was concerned with me wasting my time essentially hiding myself from my therapist. 

Through my WordPress platform I received this comment:  "I know you are not asking for advice, but if you can’t open up to your therapist perhaps you should find a different one or just stop going…that is the one place it should be safe to open up. If you aren’t getting that, at least you should talk about that."

Thanks! Liz mentioned that also. After all these years, I think I owe it to my therapist to at least bring up the subject of my expectations for her input.

Another comment came from Connie: "Well, I happen to be so cheap, ehr, thrifty that I have been completely open with any therapist I've seen. I don't like to pay for something I already know, and I want to give all the info I can about myself, so that the therapists can use their knowledge of how to make my life better. Of course, I've also had to educate them on what a trans person really is about most of the time. Unfortunately, I've had no luck with therapists making my life better - except for the one I saw for grievance counseling after my mom died my mom my mom's insurance covered it). He was from The Bronx, and had been a standup comedian before going into Psychology. The one thing he said, in his New York accent, that summed it all up was, "Fuck 'em, if they can't take a joke." I followed that with, "You mean that life is too serious to be taken too seriously?" He didn't even bother to ask if I wanted to make an appointment for another session. :-)

Thanks Connie, unfortunately I seemingly have lost the idea of free VA therapy somehow not being as important. When in fact it is. I had several different therapists I had to pay for out of my pocket and I expected more. Truthfully I didn't get more, I just didn't know what to expect. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

A Test Post

 Sunday I wrote a post about my journey up to Dayton's (Ohio) VA Hospital for laboratory tests to check all my blood.

All I got out of it was a sore arm and nothing out of the ordinary happened except the air conditioning in the car was working so well, my temperature overall was a couple degrees below the norm. I told the technician I must be half dead. She laughed n on we went.

Lets see if this post works! 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day

 Once again here in the United States, Memorial Day rolls around . Memorial Day is meant to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Most of you regulars know , I am a transgender veteran. A fortunate one in that I survived a very ugly, unpopular and destructive conflict known as the Vietnam War. I have friends who didn't survive  or returned with psychical/mental scars which never healed. 

I always try to mention too, the inordinate amount of transgender veterans  who served in their closets while attempting to reclaim their masculine gender status. When I see the number of graves and crosses spotlighted in media news shows on Memorial Day, I wonder how many of them took their gender secrets with them to their graves. 

What really upsets me too are the number of people who see Memorial Day as just another day off to BBQ and not spend just a minute to remember those who served and lost their lives. 

Without them, we would all be lost.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Hey Lady!

 Yesterday was my time to head north to the VA blood laboratory to have my bloodwork completed. I prefer to go on Saturdays for a couple of reasons. The main reason is I can talk my partner Liz into going with me and the second is there are very few other veterans there on Saturdays. 

When we arrived, per norm, Liz had to use the women's room after the rather lengthy trip from Cincinnati to Dayton, Ohio. I didn't have to go, so I stayed behind and simply leaned against the nearest wall.  Very soon, a lone figure in a wheel chair approached.  Due to my past experiences at the VA, I have a tendency to not speak to others until I am spoken to.  Yesterday was one of those days I was spoken to first. 

The amputee in the wheel chair looked at me and said loudly "Lady take a seat." He then pointed to a group of unused wheel chair type devices next to me. I tried to politely decline several times until he finally left me alone. What seemed like an eternity, Liz finally returned and we headed for the laboratory. 

Predictably, I was second in line to be jabbed. And, jabbed I was over and over again since I had three doctors asking for blood samples. The most important one is the sample which checks my iron levels. If they are too high, I have to go to hematology for a phlebotomy which means the vampires extract a pint of blood. Second in importance is my endo hormone blood results. The levels determine  if and when my HRT meds stay the same or are increased, potentially. Finally, the third test goes to my med doc to determine if my other meds blood levels are correct. Seven vials of blood later, I was done and we were heading home. 

As we left the medical center, my new found acquaintance looked at me and didn't say anything. I thought at the least, he didn't mis-gender me. 

The trip home was uneventful.

On an unrelated topic, I found this picture of one of my earliest transgender girlfriends along with a mutual friend down in Dallas:



Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Needle or the Patch

 Coming up on the nineteenth, I have my appointment with my endocrinologist. As I have written before, I am considering asking her about the possibility of changing my Estradiol delivery method from patches to injections. As with any other change, injections bring with them a whole other possibility of side effects. As a matter of fact, Michelle sent in this comment on the subject:



You may want to check out this article:

https://transcare.ucsf.edu/article/information-estrogen-hormone-therapy
The highlight paragraph is one that you mentioned:

Many trans women are interested in estrogen through injection. Estrogen injections tend to cause very high and fluctuating estrogen levels which can cause mood swings, weight gain, hot flashes, anxiety or migraines. Additionally, little is known about the effects of these high levels over the long term. If injections are used, it should be at a low dose and with an understanding that there may be uncomfortable side effects, and that switching off of injections to other forms may cause mood swings or hot flashes. Some trans women have encountered difficulties obtaining a consistent supply of injected estrogen due to ongoing problems with the supplier. Realistically, there is no evidence that injections lead to more rapid or a greater degree of feminization. In my practice, I generally avoid prescribing injections unless under very specific circumstances."   

Thanks for the insight. Plus, as a matter of fact I did check out the article. So far, I have been lucky in being able to have a stable supply of patches through the VA and I have never had the problem of the patches not sticking. 

After talking the whole process over with my therapist this morning, the only benefit would be the possibility of quicker feminine development. So as it stands, I will probably just stay with the program I am on.

As soon as my partner Liz and I become fully vaccinated, I will be able to benefit from public feedback again. Which means so much. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

I "Stuck to It"

 Well, yesterday was my appointment at the Cincinnati Veterans Hospital to receive my first Covid-19 vaccine. As always, as first experiences go, it was an interesting time.

First of  all, the weather was cold (25 degree's F. )  so I had to plan ahead to make sure I was warmer outside until I arrived at where  I needed to provide a bare arm for the vaccine injection. What I finally decided on was to wear a loose fitting long sleeved sweater over a T-shirt so I could strip off the sweater for the vaccine. 

For the most part, the plan worked relatively well and I only dropped all my paperwork once. So I was able to slip out of my coat and sweater without too much of a problem. 

Overall, I respected the organization of the whole operation. At the door of the main entrance directing traffic was a person I thought was a transgender man, although it was tough to tell since they were wearing a mask. Then came the walk around the hallways until I finally arrived where the vaccines were actually being given. As I was being directed forward, I actually was only mis-gendered by two people out of approximately fifteen. Which I figured wasn't too bad considering how much work I didn't  put into what I was wearing. My sweater coat is not form fitting at all and I just wore jeans and boots. Plus, since I was wearing two masks, the only makeup I wore was on my eyes. 

Knock on wood, the best part so far is the only reaction to the vaccine so far is a slight itching in the arm.  

Plus, the best part is, my second vaccine is already scheduled for thirty days out in March. I was fortunate too it was just cold today as we are expecting close to or over a foot of snow over the the next several days. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Up Date

 I spoke too soon (or wrote) because a couple hours after my meaningless "Robo" call from the VA concerning my Covid vaccine, my phone rang again.

This time there was actually a real person on the  other end waiting to help me make my appointments for both Covid shots. 

So perhaps the best news is I am going on this coming Saturday for the first one which looks like a better day weather wise. The middle of the week, we are supposed to have the infamous snow/ice mixture interspersed with bitter cold.  

The only bad part of the call was, the guy on the other end kept mis-pronouning me. No matter how many times I corrected him. I finally gave up and made sure my name was on the list.

I hope the vaccines are proven to be the beginning of the end of this pandemic madness.



Desperation?


 It's very frustrating when a trip to visit the vampires to have my blood work done becomes such a big deal.

After all though, it was one of the very rare times I have been able to get out of the house these days. I was able to talk Liz into going with me as we had to head north to Dayton to let the vampires do their quick work.

It's my own fault in that essentially I am stuck between two Veteran's Administration hospitals. The first one in Dayton is about an hour and a half away but it is definitely more user friendly than the hospital here in Cincinnati. Plus, it might be my imagination but the Dayton VA seems to be more transgender friendly. 

Be that as it may, as we entered the hospital, we had to be checked in and asked the magical question, "What brings you here today." I so badly wanted to say just to look around or we came just to enjoy the wonderful cafeteria food. Needless to say, I didn't say that and we were allowed to continue our masked journey to where the blood laboratories were taken. 

Very quickly, we were done and making the trip back to Cincinnati.  Since I had fasted for the blood letting, we stated to look for a place to eat on the way back.

Along the way we found one of those infamous fast food strips along the interstate so we left the highway and began our search. Amidst the sprawl was a Popeyes Chicken restaurant. In the past I have eaten at a Popeyes several times but since there isn't one close to our home, I had never tried one of their chicken sandwiches.  I loved my first spicy chicken sandwich and wondered why anyone would ever eat at the hate chicken place, Chick-fil-A.

All too soon after a couple more errands the big day out was over and it was back to covid seclusion to me.   Perhaps a light is coming at the end of the tunnel for me. Sunday in typical VA style I received a robo call from the Cincinnati asking me if I wanted a vaccine. When I pushed the proper number saying I did, the voice came on and told me no one was available to answer my request. I just laughed and thought some things never change in the military...hurry up and wait. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trans Troop Reversal

 President Joe Biden will soon reverse the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday.

While the reversal was not one of the 15 actions the new administration announced it would take Wednesday, Day One of the Biden presidency, Psaki said it would be among the “additional executive actions” that will be taken “in the coming days and weeks.”


I'm sure you all know I am a transgender veteran and how good I feel about this.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Voicing Your Gender

Most transgender women and men obsess with the problem of outing themselves with their voice. It seems no matter how well we present as our preferred gender, a slip up with our voice can ruin our whole day. 

As with many other aspects of being transgender, there are many avenues coming along to help with our voices. As well as the many voice feminization services featured on line, more than a few hospitals offer voice therapy. In fact, even the Veteran's Administration does offer voice therapy too. 

There is always the concept of vocal surgery which I have heard has varying levels of success. I have only ever encountered one person who had went through it. To be truthful I wasn't impressed. 

Myself, I pursued the VA services offered to me with varied results. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised they were knowledgeable to what I was trying to achieve. I blame myself though for the results. Being essentially the lazy person I am, I gave up and have tried to improve my feminine voice through the very few lessons I ended up going through. 

Over the years, what I have tried to do is try to match my voice to the cis women I am talking to. I imagine with varying levels of success.

The only time I can truly "try" out my feminine voice on strangers is on the phone. Even then, I am not competing on a level field. The majority of my calls come from the Veteran's Administration setting up appointments and going over results of my tests. Since the overwhelming majority of the hospitals' clients are male, the odds are stacked against me. Sometimes I still get called sir on occasion, except for the nurses and receptionists who have dealt with me a number of times. The example is my endocrinologist nurse. She is always very correct with her pronouns and calls me the proper ones. 

With all the others who don't, I always gently remind them I am not a "sir" and go back to the drawing board. What am I doing wrong to trigger their response. Plus, as I said before, I am essentially a lazy person and since I so rarely encounter strangers anymore, it's only Liz I talk to. 

Finally, the majority of the attendees of my transgender - crossdresser group have managed to settle into a softer version of their male vocal selves. Again with varying success. I suppose too, results hinge on what voice you had to start with. Many times feminine men have feminine voices. 

Voicing their gender becomes increasingly easier. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Just My Imagination

A couple of days ago, my endocrinologist called me back with the results of my recent laboratory visit to have the vampires check my blood. 

To my surprise she told me my estradiol level had risen from the last time she prescribed me new patches from a low of "40" to "80" currently. 

Since I am very poor in asking relevant questions such as what should my levels be, I went to Google and received this answer:

"For transgender women, the Endocrine Society guidelines define the target range of estradiol as 100–200 pg/mL (367–734 pmol/L)1; as many providers in our practice do not titrate therapy when estradiol levels are above 90 pg/mL (330 pmol/L), the range of 90–200 pg/mL (330–734 pmol/L) was used to define effective"

So, I guess because of those levels, she prescribed me adding one more patch I add to my body twice a week. I am prescribed (by the VA) Alora 1 mg patches. Each of the patches contains 3.1 mg of estradiol which is released over a 3 to 4 day period. I am fortunate I guess in that I haven't had any problems with the patches staying on. Because the next step would be me giving myself injections. I definitely have a problem with needles. 

Actually all these facts and figures are a way for me to understand the advanced gender transition I am going through. If the last time I received permission to increase my dosage is any indication, I can expect more changes again.

Of course the first time I added the extra patch, I imagined I felt an added fullness in my breasts and hip area. Realistically I know changes do occur over a period of time and not the first days. 

Plus I do know the risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy at my age. So does my Endo Doc I guess since wants to check my blood hormone levels in a month.

In the meantime, I will have to try to keep my imagination in check.  

Finally, statistics are showing nearly one in ten transgender individuals are using "underground" or un regulated hormones to aid their transition. Please be careful!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Biden Gets Busy

From "The Blade"

 "The Biden transition team has named transgender veteran Shawn Skelly as a member of its agency review team as LGBTQ advocates are pushing the new administration to undo President Trump’s transgender military ban expeditiously.

Skelly, who co-founded Out in National Security, an affinity group for LGBTQ national security professionals, and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a naval flight officer, is named a member of the agency review team for the Defense Department in a news statement that went out Wednesday."


Great news!


Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Day Out with the Vampires

 Well, I finally made it out of the house for an extended period. Ironically, it was only to visit my Veteran's Administration hospital in Dayton, Ohio to have my blood labs taken. For those of you who don't know, I am a transgender veteran of the Army during the Vietnam War era.

The last several times I have made the journey to visit the "vampires" as I call them has been very much uneventful. This time though, they waiting room was nearly full and once I did take my turn, I had so many vials of blood (8) they needed that the tech who took my blood had to use both arms to get enough blood. He finally did and I was sent on the way past the "admiring public" in the waiting area. 

Liz (my partner) was off from her job and agreed to go with me. Also the day happened to be unreasonably warm and beautiful. I was able to wear an easy to access T-shirt for the vampires pus jeans and tennis shoes. The one thing I noticed was how old the other Vietnam veterans looked. They were all wearing their hats and stood out from the rest of the room,

From the looks I received, I must have stood out too! Of course I was wearing a mask, so all they could see of me was my eye make up and very long hair. Any way you cut it too, I am not a small person at 5'10" and have the thick torso I inherited from living a life of testosterone poisoning. 

Yesterday though, none of any of the blank stares I was receiving bothered me in the least. In my mind I was the most attractive woman in the room. As I walked past all of them I tried to straighten my shoulders, stick out my chest and at the least try to be happy I was out of the house.

Even if it was only for a trip to the vampires.  

Monday, October 26, 2020

Just Google It

 The group which is presenting me with a honor for my LGBTQ transgender military service so many years ago requested a picture if I could find one. It was so many years ago (1972-75) and was a time which I wasn't especially fond of having my picture taken anyhow, I doubted if I could find one. 

I was sure I didn't have any pictures "just laying around" the house. Finally, I remembered a few of the former guys who served where I did on the American Forces Radio and Television Service - Thailand Network actually put together a website years ago. I began to wonder if I was in any of their pictures.

I went out on a limb and googled my deadname and AFTN and amazingly, there I was. Listed in a group picture of the entire crew of the military Udorn, Thailand radio/television station in September of 1972. I would have been approximately six months removed from basic training and the station itself was still fairly new. A year before, a battle damaged fighter jet had crashed into the old station killing all nine of the workers inside. So the surprise picture brought back many memories, many not so good.

At any rate, I have decided to share the photo on Cyrsti's Condo. I am on the bottom row, first person on the left. I worked all nights then and lived off base, so somehow I escaped not having to wear a uniform for the group. Ironically the only other military person shown here not in uniform was my close friend Dave Mallett. 

With this group we operated and tried to maintain a 24/7 radio station and a 14 hour a day television station for the airbase and separate "secret" sites in Cambodia. Our job was to provide as well as we could a connection to home for the others we served.

I am humbled and honored to receive the award!


  

Saturday, October 17, 2020

How the Army Made a Girl out of Me.

 As strange as it may seem, my three year stint in the Army, so long ago did wonders to further my goal of living as my authentic self. It turned out it just took me a while to get here.

First of all my forced enlistment was instrumental in ending a toxic relationship I was in with my first fiancé I was with in college. She knew I was a cross dresser and expected me to use it to stay out of the draft by saying I was gay. Obviously, I didn't.

Then there was basic training where everyone learned how to be an infantryman. Needless to say, there was no room to pursue the true source of my gender dysphoria, What it did do though was to make me mentally tough enough to realize sooner or later I could achieve almost any goal. After all, I was heading to what was deemed an impossible Army job as a radio/television broadcaster. I ended up serving on three continents  in three years.

During the process, as I have written many times, I met the woman who was to present me with the greatest gift of my life, my daughter Andrea. Even though she was to find out later on I was a cross dresser (or transvestite) back in those days, when I summoned up the courage to dress completely as a woman at a Halloween party we went to. I ended up admitting to her and two other friends later on my desire to dress as a woman. This was way back in the days in the Army before the "Don't ask, don't tell" LGBTQ so called protection policy. So I could have found myself in trouble if the wrong people found out my "secret". 

It turned out this experience in the Army set the way for me to work harder on my cross dressing feminine presentation and even to attempt to come out to my Mother. Which turned out to be a failure. Undeterred, I continued to stay in my closet and explore being a girl.

Throughout the middle of my life, regardless of what the Army taught me (or didn't), I became a more accomplished feminine person and increasingly wanted to try out my new found skills in the public's eye. It was about this time as I lost almost everything else in my life, I decided to take advantage of the Veteran's Administration medical benefits which would include access to hormone replacement therapy or HRT. It turned out, the meds resulted in a wonderful feminization process which continues to this day.

So you could say again, the Army was and is - is making a girl out of me. 

  

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A Busy Morning on the Computer

 Thanks to the virus, almost all of my interaction these days comes through my Cyrstih@yahoo.com email plus comments here to the blog or on Facebook. 

This morning I received a couple of pleasant surprises. The biggest one was finding out I was one of the nominee's for the Greater Dayton Rainbow Alliance veterans awards. Needless to say I was humbled and flattered. Along the way too, I had to reach way back in my rusty noggin to remember some of the service details they asked for. I had to pull back facts from the 1972-1975 days I was in the Army during the Vietnam War. The organization wanted to know such things as awards I received, rank etc. I knew I had four award medals to wear on my uniform but I even had to Google Viet era military medals to see what they were called. Bottom line was with a little help from Google, I was able to shake off the dust and answer the questions. 

The other significant happening this morning was when I was confirmed for a virtual conference on LGBTQ aging later on in October in close by Dayton, Ohio. I even will receive a small book for going. Of course I will pass along any relevant details to all of you!

Finally, of less significance but no less importance is the school group (10th grade) which is forming a LGBTQ group. They have asked for outside help and I responded. Now the big question is, will there be school at all due to rising virus case concerns. Or, will it all go on line. The good news is that so far my advanced age hasn't scared them off. 

I can only say, now I need a nap!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Just Another Meeting

 Last night was the monthly get together of the Rainbow Aging Alliance which was completed virtually of course. Nothing really unexpected happened except I was "volunteered" for a virtual Veterans outreach meeting in November. It was fine of course since I am a veteran myself. November is also the month for an "aging summit" hosted by the group which I am also very interested in. There is no word yet on how I could be involved. 

Speaking of being involved, I am going to add in a comment from Connie on the "What Would the Neighbor's Say" Cyrsti's Condo post:

I remember, all too well, the days (usually nights, under the cover of darkness) I'd have to plan some Mission Impossible episode just to not be detected by neighbors. For a while, that game was as much a part of my gender identity as the clothes I wore. There was some thrill to it, anyway. At some point, though, it became tiresome and felt dirty and dishonest to me. Shortly after my wife and I had come to our "great understanding," I stopped hiding altogether. I even did some major work on the front of our house, exposing my feminine-self to anyone who walked by. One day, as my wife was walking down the stairs from our house, the neighbor across the street shouted out, asking her if it had been her sister working on the house! She replied that it was (deadname) he had seen, and told him my new name. He has called me Connie ever since.


What a relief and a great improvement to my mental health it was to come clean in my coming out. Caring too much about what others may have been thinking of me was definitely not taking too much care of myself.
"

I can only say Wow! My wife would have divorced me before something similar  to that would have happened. Looking back on it, it could have been the best thing for both of us. Which in all fairness to her, she said. 

Thanks for the comment. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Pin Cushion

Yesterday was another medical travel day to see my "Primary Provider' at the Veterans's Administration. I was scheduled to see her in person a couple hours after I had an on line appointment with my therapist. Too bad the appointments weren't reversed since I always have to answer questions on my moods because I am bi-polar. During my second appointment I went ahead and caught up on all the shots I needed (shingles etc.) I was a big baby and they hurt! I.m always asked if I thought about harming anyone. Maybe a little bit in this case :). At least, after the mammogram is done Wednesday this week, all my painful medical appointments will be done for awhile. Between my blood labs last week and the phlebotomy, when they took a pint of blood to control my iron, I have very much felt like a pincushion. On the bright side though, most of my tests have come back very positive. 

On a different note, Connie commented again on our transgender - cross dresser "Role Model" post. She added Monty Python and the Kids in the Hall to the list.  Who could forget Dave Foley as a hooker? Evidently I did! Thanks Connie.


 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Vampire Day

Yesterday I finally made time to take the journey north to the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration center for my three month blood lab and Hematology visit. What happens is I have been getting blood labs also for my Endocrinologist. She (my endo doc)  whats to keep tabs of my hormone levels since I have increased my dosage. Now I have to wait. It normally takes a day or so for them to call about the results. 

I hope the levels are acceptable to her because I am thrilled with the results so far. My breasts are remaining full and my hips are starting to finally fill out. At the least, I hope she keeps me on the same dosage. And, speaking of breasts, I have a mammogram coming up early next week which is always uncomfortable but a right of passage for me anyhow as my maternal grandmother passed away from breast cancer long ago. Because of that and my age, the VA says I need a full breast exam yearly. 

As far as the vampires went, my Hematology results were not so good. Every three months, they check my iron level. My body has the tendency to produce too much iron and it can become toxic. To prevent it from happening, they "take" a pint. The formal term is a Phlebotomy. My iron was too high and the nurse who did the procedure fortunately was possibly the best I have ever had. It was nearly painless. 

So, all in all, it was a successful day, I wore my fashion frayed jeans and a matching form fitting tank top I just "rediscovered" buried in my wardrobe. When my vitals were taken, it was confirmed I have lost nearly five pounds since the last time I was there. Which was great of course. I guess my morning walks and less eating are starting to work.

It's just a reminder of how complex this transgender lifestyle can become.