Friday, 23 May 2008

Thought for Today

Not an original one, I fear. But far too good not to steal.

It's from one of the handful of women who were able to get treatment in their later teens and early twenties, back in the early days. The late 60's and early 70's.
GID is like Diabetes - there are two types. The first (and the only one I had experienced in the 1960’s and 70’s) was “Juvenile Onset” - it struck early, hit hard, and required radical treatment if the person was to survive. The other was like Type II Diabetes - slow, insidious, creeping (progressive), and would eventually require medical intervention.
- N.J.
How dangerous is untreated Type I? Well, the only reason she's alive today is because the gun she'd put to her head misfired when she pulled the trigger. That dangerous.

Type II's no picnic either, but it takes several decades for symptoms to become as acute as they are for type I's while still in childhood. I never reached that point, my body transitioned under me long before that. Thereby sparing me more misery than I like to think about. Yes, I am thanking my lucky stars!


Anonymous said...

I take it that woman you quote is from the United States? So she actually had access to medical treatment when she needed it.

I knew what I was as a child, but could not access medical treatment because I was not lucky enough to be an American. I did not have access to a gun, otherwise I most certainly would have used it. My life was beyond hideous for decades, until I managed to stumble across treatment later in life. Decades of unlimited horror, anguish and pain leave a massive legacy.

And I am non-too-impressed with these Type I and Type II categories and the theories behind them. They imply that medical treatment was always there if one wanted it. Only for the very lucky few.

E said...

There are many reasons why people suppress themselves and don't seek help. Familial rejection, social coercion, financial issues, fear of not being able to transition successfully and so on can all result in someone not being treated until their 30s or beyond, even if there are sources of treatment. The type I and II dichotomy is more than a little dodgy to me. A condition and its treatment are different matters: the condition exists even without treatment.

Just my 2.2 cents worth.


Zoe Brain said...

Both of the above comments contain much truth. The person concerned is not American, but managed to see Dr Biber in the USA. All others like her who were unable to do that are dead.

She, unlike those who transition late, never did manage to put up a halfway convincing "boy act". She had it more intensely than most.

It is the same thing. The real difference is the initial intensity.

There appears to be a dichotomy, and several research papers NOT by CAMH confirm that. There are two peaks of transition, one in the late teens and early twenties, one in the mid 40s and early 50s, with relatively few between (though they exist and can't be ignored).

Why this is so is another matter. I think it's partly intensity, but an equally dominant cause is access to treatment. The reason why there appears to be a dichotomy is because those who had it badly at an early stage generally were unable to get treatment, and so never made it to 30, let alone 40. This leads to the false impression that there must be two etiologies. I do believe that there are different intensities for the same thing though. Biology is like that, messy, fuzzy around the edges.

This is an example of speciation if you like. A separation of a continuum into two different populations based on survival criteria, with relatively few transitional types.

Anonymous said...

It really does baffle me how some people can still dismisss transgender as a choice, or wrong, when these people go through so much torment. It takes a very brave person to speak up and tell someone that they are not the gender they appear to be. It could not possibly be a choice; why would anyone willingly put themselves through the torment of society's judgement if the alternative was not worse?

Zoe Brain said...

I think a lot of people really could function adequately as either gender, so can't understand those who are strongly gendered, and the mind doesn't match the body.

You see the same thing amongst some strongly gendered TS people. They can't comprehend that some people just do not fit either male or female stereotypes. Rather than being capable of being either, they're capable of being neither.

Many such people are Intersexed, physically. Not all though.

And people evolve. It appears that they become more strongly gendered over time. The evidence is that that's true in type II TS, anyway, though it's a change of degree, not of kind. It may not happen to everyone.

I guess "you have to just be yourself, as everyone else is taken". That's what my partner says anyway. For most that's easy and natural, for others, finding out who you are is a personal quest that can last years.

Anonymous said...

Um, what about the 2 year old stage? Or the 9 year old stage? I am the proud mother of a 9 year old affirmed daughter.

Zoe Brain said...

A 9 year old affirmed daughter?

HOW I wish there were more mothers like you!

There's no easy way of saying this. You probably saved her life. You certainly gave her the best opportunity to have a normal life.

In Chonburi, I met a Mom and her daughter who had been in a similar situation to yours. The daughter had surgery the day before her 18th birthday.

She was just a normal, teenage girl. None of the psychic baggage that people like me are still getting rid of.

What you are doing is wonderful, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If I can take my hubris in my hand, there us only one issue I'd like you both to consider, later, when she's a few years older. Whether to store genetic material or not.

There is a cost to this, and the cost can't easily be quantified. At the price of some masculinisation, she could be able to be a biological parent.

There is another issue though with a girl as young as nine. In 30-35 years time, medical technology might just possibly have advanced enough so she can become a mother in the usual way. It's not certain, and it may not even be likely. But possible.

Your daughter might just be in the first generation to have all the advantages of being TS, the creativity, the increase in IQ, and still be able to be a mother. Not just a normal life, one blessed.

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail, I may be able to give some practical help.

My very, very, best wishes to you and your whole family. What you are doing is wonderful, and sorry to be repetitious, but it truly is.

Hugs, Zoe

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 14, and receiving medical treatment in the Sates to block her unwanted and completely avoidable male puberty. Here in the UK, even with the threat of suicide and the second opinion of the Dutch team that my daughter needed treatment and fit the criteria for early intervention, the so called medical experts refused to give her the medication she needed. We now see a knowledgeable, compassionate and wonderful Dr in the States. My daughter is beautiful, and her Dr tells her so, as do I. Taking her abroad for treatment was the best thing I ever did.

Zoe Brain said...

I am not going to cry. Anonymous, you have no idea,no conception of what misery you've spared your daughter.
Thank you. Thank you so much for what you're doing.

I'm of rather conservative bent, and rather than seeing sex-changing hormones administered early, am a big fan of delaying puberty at least until 14. Only after that would we be making changes that in a year won't be completely reversible, around age 15 or 16. Surgery soon thereafter, if desired.

Given the Dutch experiences of a zero regret rate with even earlier treatment, maybe I'm just being overly cautious.

In any event, please know from my own testimony and those of literally tens of thousands of others that you are doing exactly the right thing. You know that of course, beyond doubt, all you have to do is look at your daughter. This kind of thing is not subtle, nor easily mistaken, is it?

Best wishes to you both, Hugs too, Zoe

p.s. you know that bit about not going to cry? I lied.