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Just over two weeks to go and there's a sense of too much to do and too little time in which to do it. This isn't actually the case but it feels that way and the temptation to procrastinate is perversely strong. I'm definitely starting to feel the stress. It's not so much that I'm consciously worrying about things but my body steps in and hits me with adrenal surges so sharp that I gasp like someone has poked me with a pin or I'll suddenly have to disappear from my desk at work and walk quickly and determinedly away so that I can burst into inexplicable tears in private. I'm also veering oddly between insomnia and finding myself falling asleep at inopportune time (ok, maybe the veering isn't so odd but it's inconvenient and disconcerting) I may need to be very conservative with my estimates of how much I can get done in a given amount of time in the final week.

There is more than just the stress of moving house and impending surgery to cope with. The loss of derby is still fresh enough for me to cry over under the right circumstances and while that's receding it's a sort of sour background fog that ties in with me being really fucking annoyed with my body, mostly because of the restrictions associated with my knee. This in turn relates to the way in which the impending reconfiguration of my body has me angry at myself for the indulgent comfort eating and excess of alcohol which in combination with almost no exercise has seen me gain 10 kg and lose a lot of hard won fitness. I worry about how to deal with that as I suspect I may be pushing too hard with that even now. It also has me re-evaluating aspects of my sexuality again which will place me even further into extravagant freak territory but which I cannot simply sweep under the rug and ignore - that bump is now too large. This will be part of how I contextualise myself in the future and not something I can ignore while actively trying to start dating again.

I've also made a tentative but enormous commitment which has a year long lead time and a lot of wrangling but would yet again turn my life upside down. It has a ratio of amazing and scary that probably means I absolutely have to do it if it's even remotely feasible but the very idea makes my brain fizz.

I can't actually effectively hold all of this in my mind at once. I'm trying very hard to focus on the important stuff that is happening really very soon now but the other things barge in and shout at me about how big and important and exciting and scary they are and how I need to think about them Right Now. This is not something that is calculated to promote calmness and rationality.

Still, there's not that much time left. As long as I do what I need to get done in the next couple of weeks, from that point I can just hang on for the ride and come out the other side with a much clearer mental and emotional landscape or at least one with a couple of huge and pressing elements removed. I just wish I could convince myself to put everything else aside until then.

Why am I doing this to myself?
sacredchao: (Default)
I didn't get that job I wanted.

I feel like I'm struggling to keep myself engaged with things at the moment. I have the occasional win, like the Einsturzende Neubauten concert last night which I genuinely enjoyed but the day to day stuff is a bit of a fuzzy blur. There are tears and moments when I just stop and lean against things or sit down and simply stop functioning for a minute or so and I'm starting to watch myself carefully because I worry that this has the potential to escalate. I'm due to see my therapist prior to surgery so that will present an opportunity to talk things through.

My life is still awfully good. I'm full time employed, mostly healthy and surrounded by friends. I do still somehow manage to feel awfully battered right now. I'm surrounded my images and references to the thing I've lost that I can't get rid of without cutting off a great many friends. I ache regularly and the fact that my clothes no longer fit reminds me that I'm not getting half the exercise I used to even pre-derby. I'm starting to feel fat, old and broken which I know doesn't make me special but I would have liked to have been able to explore my new life as myself in a body that hadn't already had all the juice squeezed out of it.

I'm not being particularly objective right now and I'm sure I'll gain perspective with time but right now I just want to throw things. And cry. I do find that I want to do that quite a bit right now.

I know the universe doesn't owe me a single thing but right now it feels like the scales are a touch out of balance.
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A big step today, I booked the date for surgery. Don't invite me to anything on 23/04/13, I'm sort of busy. It's a couple of weeks later than I expected but really that's neither here nor there at this stage. So this is a big thing with attendant crazy stress levels. Coming on the heels of the news about my knee, it presents two huge stressors, both of which introduce considerable uncertainty. Yes, I expect surgery to resolve a lot of dissonance and confusion but I also know full well that once that happens there will be a whole new slab of myself to evaluate and place into context and it will result in me evolving and growing yet again. I have no idea what the result of this will be though, only that it will almost certainly happen and so I should not make any especially firm plans.

I have a job interview on Wednesday. It's for the permanent position for which I've just started the secondment. I like to think that the fact that I've been given the secondment bodes well for he permanent position but I rather badly want this one. It will be a quiet relaxing job around people I like, interacting only with other departments, not the general public. It also means a slight bump in pay. Want.

So these things along with various interpersonal whatsits happening at different levels for different reasons and the need to find a new place to live before surgery mean that I have enough uncertainty in my life to have pinged some sort of what-the-fuck-is-going-on threshold. I need to address one thing at a time, even if everything is clamouring for attention at once.

There are times when I just want to have a comfortable thing to curl up against though. My soul is craving safe and cozy and I'm really not finding that right now.
sacredchao: (Default)
I had my consultation with the arthroscopic surgeon today and came away with just about the worst possible outcome, which is to say that my knee is untreatable and shouldn't be banged about more than can possibly be helped. This effectively kills derby for me.

Apparently cartilage doesn't do healing very well. In terms of medical science we're really still at the stage of cutting off the troublesome parts. I don't have flaps or lumps of cartilage getting in the way, I just have tears or "fissuring". Those can't be excised so there's not a useful surgical option. I will talk to other people and explore options thoroughly but the surgeon was horribly rational and made more sense than I wanted him to.

I have no idea what to do now. Hanging around derby as a maimed NSO or maybe referee has little appeal but I can't walk away either - the people are far far too important to me.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate my body?
sacredchao: (Default)
I'm feeling odd. Today was full of little adrenal panic attacks from the moment I woke. All I really wanted to do when they happened was lay down and stop moving or thinking and on a couple of occasions when I was assured of total privacy I did precisely that. I really hope that this is a short lived and unique thing that I don't have to deal with again. I made it through the day at work despite non-functional computer systems for half the day condensing my workload to an afternoon of crazed keyboard thumping.

Still hating my body. I'm fat and slow and fed up with both of these aspects. I have a consultation on Thursday about my knee which may explain the fit of nerves today. I *am* nervous about this because an unfavourable diagnosis could badly dent my lifestyle and ability to work with my body. Nervous isn't really a strong enough word - I'm scared that my current limitations could be permanent or that the limitations that will be permanent will be close enough to what I currently have to make no real difference. I'm kind of dealing with the things I can't do on the basis that they're something that isn't forever. If they are forever there will be tears.

Surgery is closer. Less fear and more excitement with this but still the trepidation that comes with a big life event. There will be pain and work to recover and a whole new round of coming to terms with myself and I have no idea exactly where that's going to leave me.

I also have a job interview tomorrow. I had an interview for the four week secondment that will cover the period up until they finalise the permanent placement but this one is for the permanent position. I want this position. So that's more nervousness.

Attendant to surgery in a way is the desire to move. I want that to happen before surgery or I'll be stuck here for a few months longer which I don't especially want. I need to start making that happen.

I think I would like one aspect of my life not to freak me out for a while. Something relaxing and comfortable. Right now I don't really have that which leaves me without a retreat. There we go - that's the insight that comes with typing stuff out like this. Now I know why I'm a twitching mess I might have a chance of working out what to do. Maybe. Fuck.
sacredchao: (Default)
So I skated. Not for long and I don't think I can do it a lot at this point but after nearly four months of no skating at all it was the first rains after drought. So so SO good. I really do need skate time with my friends. A little, probably on a rink (rather than the up hill, down dale, variable surfaces, dodging traffic exercise that was negotiating the middle of Melbourne today) every few weeks will be a thing to keep me far happier than I have been. I can do this. I shall treat myself to new bearings and find my feet again.
sacredchao: (Default)
So yesterday I splashed out and bought a couple of things. One was a new pair of headphones. My old Sennheisers disappeared recently but were getting rather rattly and worn so probably due for replacement anyway...it's not as if I didn't get a *lot* of use out of them. So another pair of Sennheiser cans and these are rather nicer than the old ones. Cleaner, less bass heavy, defined and just lovely. $150 is slightly more than I meant to spend but they were so much better than any of the $100-120 range things there that it was entirely worth it.

About half that price, but entirely more rewarding was the replacement bike helmet. My old one resoundingly earned its keep a couple of months ago and is now no longer a helmet. So this morning I put it on, along with cycling appropriate clothing and rode to work for the first time in months.

I had not realised how badly I had missed this and how dreadfully I felt as if I no longer had ownership of my body. Being allowed to use my own body like that again is the most gloriously empowering thing. I'm flabby and unfit and so so SLOW but it was the best thing ever and I get to do it all over again tomorrow.

I felt properly functional for the first time in months. The cough has nearly completely receded, I slept well, I got exercise, I listened to good music through my shiny new headphones while working and my productivity went through the roof. The contrast to the past few months was such a stark relief that I'm startled by just how cramped and unhappy I really have been recently. I should not want to cry with relief when I get home from work, not because the commute was hard but because it was so good.

So I'm now actively taking my body back. No snacks, reduced booze, cooking real food, finally exercising again, pilates on Mondays, and while I'm not looking forward to the consultation with the arthroscopic surgeon (not yet actually booked) it will at least be a step forward.

The months of no exercise and comfort food bingeing has seen my weight creep up to 77kg. 18 months ago I weighed 63kg and I liked that. Now my clothes don't fit. All the above measured should fix this particular bugbear. I *like* being fit and lean. I am so taking that back.

Finally, it's now four months away from reassignment surgery. That time will fly. I can't wait.
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I took the day off sick today. By the time the end of the day rolled around yesterday I was exhausted and sore from the coughing so I wanted medication. I got that, and more importantly, got the results from the x-ray and MRI. The shoulder is simply injured and still healing and is therefore uncomplicated.

The knee is less straight forward...it turns out that there are a couple of things going on there. I have a sprain of my posterior cruciate ligament which is half healed and coming along. That will just need physio work. I apparently also have "focal mid medial patellar facet high-grade partial thickness chondral fissuring" and this has earned me a referral to an arthroscopic surgeon. I likely won't get a consultation until next year.

My physio feels that I should be able to at least cycle at this point so I can start building my aerobic fitness up again. With that and pilates classes for core strength I should at least begin to get my body back. No contact skating for me though and I'm dubious about skating prior to consultation with the surgeon. This is going to take a while and will almost certainly overlap with reassignment surgery. I think it's time to settle in for some work and accept that skating will be a while away.

It's good to have a plan. I still wish I didn't need one though. There's going to be quite a bit of work and quite a bit of pain involved in this which doesn't exactly fill me with joy. I do have the option to get my body back though and so many people don't. This could be an awful lot worse. Deep breath time.
sacredchao: (Default)
I didn't get anything other than the scheduled CT scan done at the Alfred and I wasn't that surprised. I do now have an x-ray (for my shoulder which still aches when it shouldn't anymore) and an MRI scan (for my knee) booked for this coming Sunday. I'm both impatient and nervous about finding out what's going on with my knee.

Things are slowly coming to a head. The weekend after the one coming I start preparations for surgery which will be nastily uncomfortable but needful and really, it'll be such a concrete forward step that I'm nearly looking forward to it. Nearly.

No skating has prompted me to play guitar more again. I have neglected this badly and my fingers don't quite do what I ask of them. Hopefully this will get better over time.

Still hating my body right now. It's fat, unfit, sore, balky, fragile and has now managed to find itself a throat infection from somewhere just in case I was getting complacent. It's getting the hiding of its life once I know I can get away with it. My cycle commute is a distant memory as is derby training. This is going to hurt. It'll be constructive hurt though. I suspect that this will be a theme for a while. Frankly, getting gain with my pain will be a huge improvement and I can't wait.
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So it's getting on for 3am and I'm sitting and thinking and surfing random stupid stuff on the internet because for some reason the idea of going to sleep seems untenable. This has been my pattern now for over a month. I'm living on 3-4 hours of sleep per night and been an aching sleep deprived zombie at work which doesn't make for the most pleasant possible working days.

I have an appointment tomorrow at The Alfred hospital. Ostensibly it's because during my shoulder x-rays they saw a "spot" in my upper lung. They said that it's likely a transient thing but that they simply want to check it because if it *is* transient then it should have, well, transited by now. I've barely given it a thought and for some reason have been entirely successful in telling myself not to worry about it until a doctor says I should worry about it. What I'm planning to get done tomorrow is point out that while they looked at my shoulder and spine six weeks ago, I have a knee that aches even after only moderate walking and on which I'm now terrified to cycle or skate for fear of doing permanent damage and can we do an MRI scan now please? At this point I don't care what it costs. I want to know what's wrong. I want to know what I can do without causing permanent damage and I want to know what needs to be done to fix it so that I can arrange to have that done.

The first two point are to give me at least some use of my body back. I've gained about 5kg and dropped muscle mass at the same time. My clothes are getting tight and I"m starting to dislike how I look and feel self-conscious about it. My fitness has dropped to the point that I can feel it even with gentle walking...I'm not out of breath but I feel the difference in heart rate and effort and I do breathe harder than I used to and I feel it in the muscles of my legs where I wouldn't have even registered that I'd been doing anything before. My body is deteriorating in all sorts of ways and at this point I can't do a damn thing about it. I need to regain agency in this and to do that I need knowledge. Right then, let's do that. Once I have that knowledge I know what I can do without permanent damage. I don't *care* if it hurts, it's not like I've had much in the way of pain free moments for the past six weeks anyway so this will not be a big step.Just the knowledge that I'm reclaiming this body will be worth a very great deal of discomfort. The last point hopefully gets rid of the pain and puts me back on track to cycle commute (if I can't do that already anyway) and going back to train and work up to scrimmage. This will mean work but it will be such GOOD work and I so so so need to get started on it.

Of course all this is predicated on a good prognosis. I have no idea what the potential range of outcomes is and I'm so scared that it's going to be something that means I simply can't go back to the level of activity I've gotten used to. So I'm sleepless and not a little worried and at 3am there's not a single useful thing I can do except sleep. I have no idea why I'm so reluctant to do that and so I worry about that as well. This is not helpful.

This Saturday will be another round of testing. It should have been the day when I tested up to green star and became eligible to bout. Part of me really really doesn't want to be there and part of me is saying "Don't you *dare* walk away from scrimmage on a test day." They will need warm bodies there to NSO and there will be friends there testing. Honestly, too, there's part of me that really does want to be there.

I am going to fix this.
I am going to fix this.
I am going to fix this.
sacredchao: (Default)
And that's another weekend I've run out of and another curtailed in various ways by my injuries. I left the bout after party on Saturday sore enough to be in tears at one point and monumentally pissed off at having to cut the evening short. I did very little today.

I looks like the next stage with the knee is to get a MRI scan to see exactly what the damage is. This is apparently likely to cost something in the order of $300, private health insurance or not. I'll hit my insurance up to see what they're good for but either way, I suspect that this is going to cost me real money to resolve given that the scan will only give an idea what the actual treatment will have to be. Please please not surgery. I have to resolve it though...it's keeping me from both cycling and skating. This is fitness, body image, social life and chunks of my own identity all compromised because of this injury and I am getting progressively more and more upset about it.

I don't want to be sore.
I don't want to be inactive.
I don't want to watch from the sidelines.
I want my fucking body back and I want to have a reason to like it again.

I know a number of people who have been through those sentiments in spades and with sprinkles on top and with no hope of resolution. I wish this gave me a sense of perspective but to be honest, it doesn't. I'm just finding my mood getting progressively darker and I absolutely have to make sure that I'm actually doing something about it or the whole situation is going to get out of control.
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Derby made me cry yesterday. I can't skate but I go on Saturdays to function as an NSO for the two scrimmage sessions. I was feeling a bit emotionally sketchy and during the non-scrimmage training period between the two scrimmage sessions it became too much and I had an embarrassing teary meltdown. Of course everyone there was great and sympathetic. They keep telling me that they're surprised and thankful that I turn up while I'm injured to help out. The truth of the matter is that if I don't do that then I'm not going to be there at all and not being there at all just isn't something I think I could face. I guess my reaction was in large part due to being sore, having a wildly disrupted sleep cycle (I've been sleeping incredibly poorly and erratically since the bike accident) and a couple of other minor things that still had a real emotional impact.

So I slept for 12 hours (the clock says 13 but we started daylight saving last night) and had some moderately disturbing dreams which were probably occasioned by me moving in ways that tweaked my shoulder in my sleep. Today I'm sore and morose. I really hope I heal soon, I'm completely fed up with it making me miserable.
sacredchao: (Default)
There's a night I seriously don't want to repeat. I was cycling up to Footscray train station after lovely singing when I found myself coming up behind a much slower cyclist. He moved to one side as I went to go around him and I had ot brake redally hard to avoid hitting him. I'm not sure exactly what happened next but it involved going over the handlebars really fast and landing on my right shoulder and the side of my head. The guy on the other bike favoured me with a sneering "Ya fuckwit!" and left me hyperventilating and shuddering on my back in the middle of the road. Charming. So after very gingerly riding the remaining few hundred metres to the train station there was a progression of stairs and changing trains (for a total of three), nearly passing out at one point before finally getting home about an hour later. The wonderful 10B took me to The Alfred hospital and stayed there until 3am for shich I am enormously grateful. Because I'd hit my head hard enough to crack my helmet in two places the staff quite reasonably feared for the state of my spine and put me in a neckbrace and admonished me firmly not to move. So flat and immobile on my back for the next 7 hours. That's sort of comfy at first but wears thin awfully quickly. A series of x-rays and a CT scan later (which occasioned the usual "Is there any chance that you're pregnant? ... Physically impossible, yes we hear that a lot." conversation.) it was determined after several hours that my spine is fine but I have a contused shoulder joint and a fractured scapula which explains why lugging my bike up and down several flights of stairs was so unpleasant.

As an aside, being trans, particularly pre-op or non-op in a hospital is exceedingly awkward. To their eternal credit, the staff were utterly lovely and made me as comfortable as possible the whole time. There was no hint of *them* having difficulty with the situation, the awkwardness was all mine.

This firmly confirms the destruction of any plans for bouting pre-surgery so I can now relax and let my knee heal properly. I am very sore and very grumpy.

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