Sunday, 13 May 2012

It happens (again)

Life After Dawn | A story of transition in pictures and words

We looked at the labs together, and my extensive file – which includes my previous attempts to “fix” my hormone imbalance, and the HRT journey we started in June 2011. Next month it will be one year, the first time since this all started that I remained on hormone therapy for a complete year without interruption. I tried HRT before, between 2010-2011, between 2008-2009, always with an interruption for some wacked out response by my body or a doctor’s discovery of some causality which turned out to be another red herring. No one’s ever figured out why my body changed, on its own, and I’m well past the point of wanting that question answered, honestly.
So, what were the numbers? That was my main concern on this day, in addition to getting the next hormone shot. In late March, my estrogen numbers were through the roof, dangerously high, in fact. There was both a physical as well as an emotional response to that overdose, which we corrected by eliminating one medication. And just for the record, I had questioned that from the beginning, so I was glad to be right and glad to live long enough to say, I was right. Fortunately, my estrogen numbers have returned to female normal level; Testosterone remains at near zero (for nearly a year now).

“So, what does all this mean, doctor?” He rolled his stool on wheels over toward me, facing me with a serious look in his eyes. “Bottom line,” he said quietly. “Yes?” I leaned in. That’s when he said it.
“You’re female. This isn’t us pumping you full of hormones, remember: we actually had to dial back the meds. All you need right now is maintenance. I don’t know if it makes sense to change anything, given your past.”
My past. Every testosterone gel patch was like pouring oil onto the fire of estrogen coursing through my body. It not only didn’t work, it backfired. It threatened my life.
No, I have not had surgery to alter my male anatomy, but those parts have atrophied and retracted to the point that there’s an “innie” where I used to have an “outie.” My wife is grossed out by this. No sexual partner would be satisfied, if I ever wanted to have one, and if this person wanted to be with me, even if that person was a man of, shall we say, smaller stature (a partner with girly fingers like mine might be different);  to truly transition I would still ultimately need surgery. Until then..peeing while standing is but a memory.
-- Dawn

It happens.


Elizabeth said...

Absolute complete and utter rubbish. There is not a single medically recorded case backed by qualified medical professionals in the history of mankind indicating a case like this is possible.

Only in the mind of the delusional and the schizophrenic would this delusional seem rational.

This loon is right up there with your delusion that you were a rocket scientist.

Zoe Brain said...

This delusion, you mean? Or this one? That's from the wayback machine, but I guess you'll say I must have hacked the system, gone around substituting fake copies of the Age in every library archive in the country etc.

Please pardon me for finding this hilarious. I'm not laughing at you personally so much as laughing at the lengths some will go to to continue with cherished ideologically-based beliefs.

Feel free to continue.

Eric TF Bat said...

That comment by Elizabeth has to be a Poe, surely. Unfortunately, it falls foul of Fruitbat's Corollary to Poe's Law: if your impersonation of a stupid opinion is perfect, it's no longer an impersonation.

Zoe Brain said...

No, Eric, she's quite serious I'm afraid.

Elizabeth even wrote a blog entry about it.

She's also not alone, there are many who hold her beliefs. They all quote each other as "authoritative sources", never once questioning how the original source could possibly "know" these things, have access to my medical records, employment history etc from the other side of the world.

Evidence to the contrary is ignored, as they know what's possible, and that this is not. They know what they know.

A source of harmless amusement to me, but also a lesson to us all.

Only one of them is actually psychotic, at least, according to a medic who advised me that he was a real threat, unlike the others.

As they're all on the other side of the world, it doesn't worry me.

You wait, they'll claim you're a sockpuppet. They just "know" this you see.

Before you laugh too long though, consider this: all who have been through the social and legal persecution that Trans people go through get damaged by it. No human being can avoid it. Some heal, and in some the damage is slight.

But for some, it maims them, psychically. There's also a matter of Darwinian selection: only those unreasonably stubborn, obdurate and sometimes just plain ornery don't give up and take the easy way out.

Me too. You might have noticed that when I believe in something, the only way to change my actions is to persuade me I'm wrong. Merely placing difficulties in my path just causes me to become more adamant.

Elizabeth isn't stupid. Just a bit too sure of herself.

lifeafterdawn said...

Zoe, I was so touched that you would repost an excerpt from my blog, and thank you for bringing it to people around the world. I didn't expect or was prepared for Elizabeth's reaction, and I'm overwhelmed at her slam against you. I have posted a comment on her blog and expect now she will target me as well, something I never anticipated.

Billie said...

I do not take HRT and my maleness has become an "innie" where it used to be an "outie", too! It's been changing to a clit without any help from me. Sex (man on woman) is a historical thing because of how my penis looks, topical cortisone and dead skin. Yuk! I enjoy sex but with smaller men, they hurt less. And peeing while standing up has always been a chore for me. I have no notion of getting SRS at my age.

Billie said...

Forgot to mention, my doctor knows about me and she can find NO medical statistics to either support or deny what is happening to me. IMO it's not written about because doctors do not like to be second guessed.

Stephanie said...

I've been attacked by Elisabeth. You can't talk to the woman, even using her words against her, it doesn't help. She's on a mission to rid the world of the "Transgender Borg", whoever they are. I go to her site every once in awhile just to rile her up! lol But then, I'm one who will poke bee hive too! lol

mythusmage said...

A number of species spontaneously transit from one gender to another, the difference with humans is that we're not equipped to make the full change. It apparently goes back to the time before our ancestors were tetrapods. The basic ability is there, but not the full mechanism.

Anonymous said...

I've been very hesitant to discuss my own condition openly because I expect the same sort of reaction that you received from Elizabeth. Until my mid-40's, I was a normal male, but then my body started feminizing on its own and my genitals receded into my body. Like your doctor, mine was flabbergasted. He kept questioning me as to whether I was taking female hormones, because he had never heard of a male body feminizing itself like mine did.

I now live in a twilight world because I feel like such a freak.


Elizabeth said...

Zoe did you or did you not have SRS from Dr. Suporn in Thailand?

You were a software engineer and not a rocket scientist. Big difference.

Like I said on my blog in a comment I would gladly apologize if I thought I was wrong but MKIA was there with you in Thailand. I know this is a fact and so do you.

There is not a single medically documented case of this type of sex reversal in adult males by any reputable scientific or medical entity.

I would be pleased to be proven wrong and would gladly apologize to all and support you in any endeavor.

Zoe Brain said...

I had genital reconstruction in Thailand in November, 2006. Things were rather a mess down there, I needed to have usually internal glands with pre-cancerous lesions removed, and my urethra re-plumbed so I could urinate properly.

My scrotal sac was male. My foreskin was male. Nothing else was normal, the testes had been soft and shrunken, and mostly retracted internally since June 2005. Completely so by mid 2006. Other bits, by the time of the surgery, were completely internal according to the photos taken by Dr Suporn of the surgery, leaving just an empty foreskin.

He did a magnificent job, given the unusual initial state. He's good with Intersex patients, unlike, say, Brassard whose results are excellent, but requires something like a normal baseline to work from.

I opted for something rather more ambitious than the glandular removal and urethral re-plumbing I could have gotten in Australia. I wanted something that would have given me normal looking genitalia for the first time in my life.

Psychologically, as I've always said, I'm identical as near as I can gather to a standard transsexual woman. It's only by a mere technicality, an unusual metabolism, that I count as Intersex (so unable to gain the GID diagnosis that would enable me to get my UK birth certificate changed). It does have continuing effects on my ongoing HRT dose though, which doesn't begin to resemble anything usual for a standard transsexual woman.

I have never claimed that my genitalia changed from normally male to normally female. They went from underdeveloped male to ambiguous. The diagnosis of "severe androgenisation of a non-pregnant woman" was based on endocrinology, genetics, skeletal features, ultrasound results, as well as genital configuration.

The former diagnosis of "undervirilised male" (mild AIS) was based on a physical exam and blood tests at a fertility clinic, back in 1985 when the textbooks didn't even have 3BHSD-CAH in.

Now that I've discussed my exact genital configuration, past and present, something I'm loath to do as it's none of anyone else's business - why the interest?

Now where people got the idea that I've had FFS, or was married at age 10 in the UK, or that I had surgery last year, that I've fathered 2 or is it 3 children with multiple partners, that I'm a wanted sex criminal, a bald man in a wheelchair on disability benefits, that I've claimed to be "better" than anyone, or claimed I had a magically complete change of genitalia, and many other claims made about me by "people who know" - that I don't know.


Anonymous said...

"No, I have not had surgery to alter my male anatomy, "
Yes you did and bragged about the 8 inches that could not of happened without enough male skin. My 6 1/2 inches is a result of hormone shrinkage, Then a year after surgery even at half the hormone use my levels were very high also so just a patch now is all I need. You have a distorted view of reality.
Happy blogging
Back Then

fiddlejig said...

Folks, Zoe is quoting "lifeafterdawn's" blog post, for those of you who are confused as to whether Zoe had SRS or not. Evidently "lifeafterdawn" had not had SRS. Zoe herself did, as various people note.

Zoe, I was confused too, perhaps you want to indicate more clearly that this is a quotation, not your own words. Cues you use elsewhere are missing.

I originally stopped by to let you know that, while reading the archives at Ethics Alarms, I came across your patient, dignified dialog with Mr. Pilling. Mr. Pilling may have been a lost cause, but you surely educated me.

Barney Frank may not support your cause, but this Girl Geek from Massachusetts does -- now!

Zoe Brain said...

@EAP - you're not alone. You are unusual, hence your doctor's puzzlement.

You might get him to look at this blog. It happens. It can happen from a variety of causes, unfortunately some of them life-threatening, and he needs to be aware of that.

A check for a malignancy, a hormone-secreting tumour, is top of the list. With such things, the earlier they're caught, the better.

Once that's excluded, a Karyotype is needed, then checks of Cortisol levels and other tests. A referral to a top-flight endocrinologist with expertise in Intersex situations is essential.

Freak? Some will say so. Others will say Unusual. Others, who actually know their stuff, will call it an uncommon natural variation, like having perfect pitch. It happens.

Zoe Brain said...

@fiddlejig - I added explicit attribution at the end to clarify. Hope this is enough, but those bent on misunderstanding will ignore it, as they've done in the past.

No great drama.

Thanks for the suggestion. Good job I don't pretend to be a professional! But if I was, then I'd have an editor or pre-publication reviewer to catch such imperfections.

Thanks for the encouragement and kind words too.

Anonymous said...

It happened yet again. Saw this today.....

Man Admitted to Hospital for Kidney Stone Discovers He's a Woman