Lily’s 37th Summer πŸŒ·

It’s not quite over yet but enough has transpired that I feel reasonably confident in doing a retrospective post here. I mean, let’s be honest, I live in Florida. Summer began a WHILE ago. Even after the season supposedly changes, I’ll still be here wiping the sweat as I walk my Dog until probably at least October or so. All that aside, it’s time to tell my story as long as the first estradiol of the day is pleasantly hitting my brain 😁

The two events that really marked the start of Summer for me were St. Pete Pride and seeing my Endocrinologist for a Six months follow up visit. The Doctor had some blood taken, gave me my gender dysphoria letter, and prescribed progesterone even though not a huge believer in it. He did decide to humor me and let me try it, though. So that was a very fruitful visit and I see him again in December. As I mentioned, St. Pete Pride was in June itself and a week or so after I saw my Endocrinologist. Around this time I had started working out every morning. I was planning to dress a bit scandalously and well, I wanted to look fit lol. Mind you I’d been on the Progesterone for a week or so now. Steadily losing belly fat and whatnot. It should be noted that I didn’t start on progesterone. We started with Provera(medroxyprogesterone)and for three days I was fucking BATSHIT climbing up the walls. Called the Endocrinologist and they switched it to the bioidentical Progesterone and I figured that was it because the new stuff made me far less nuts.

I’m not going into too much detail about St. Pete Pride in this post (though it was amazing and spectacular) because I’m planning to do a post specifically about that subject soon but a couple highlights included being quoted and described in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday paper article about Pride🌈, getting mad crazy compliments on our outfits, and meeting LOTS of cool people! 🀘

So all this was happening and it was really cool but…. I was starting to have massive trouble with anxiety and being spastic and jumpy. Thankfully my Rheumatoid Arthritis was relatively well controlled while all this stuff was happening. Dealing with that on top of the other stuff would have crushed me for sure. So I anxiously got through July and work being a basket case until… It was time for my Birthday Vacation…. To Ft. Lauderdale….. (Right after I saw my shrink and explained that I thought my meds were starting to crap out and ‘Could we add some Lithium pls?’ which he thankfully obliged.)

Off from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale we went To see IRON FUCKING MAIDEN ON MY 37TH BIRTHDAY (THANK YOU MUCH, METAL GODSπŸ’‹)!!! The Trip itself was mostly fun… But verrrrry nervous (which I’ll get to)

Here’s my Birthday set list:

Iron Maiden: Sunrise BB&T Center, Florida – July 18, 2019

1. Aces High
2. Where Eagles Dare
3. 2 Minutes To Midnight
4. The Clansman
5. The Trooper
6. Revelations
7. For The Greater Good Of God
8. The Wicker Man
9. Sign Of The Cross
10. Flight Of Icarus
11. Fear Of The Dark
12. The Number Of The Beast
13. Iron Maiden
14. The Evil That Men Do (Encore)
15. Hallowed Be They Name (Encore)
16. Run To The Hills (Encore)

It was AMAZING. For the first track they had a replica Spitfire hanging over the stage, for some songs they had the Eddie tinged Iconography, Eddie came out and fought Bruce during The Trooper, and in one song Bruce had FLAME THROWERS on his arms! I had seen this Band once before so I had some idea of what to expect but..

They must have been really well rested or just done a bunch of speed because they fucking ROARED for every song in this show. Faster than usual and absolutely stunning technically. Best goddamned Metal show AND Birthday of my life from my absolute FAVORITE Band. When the last encore finished and people began to get up and move about and leave…. Well… I had fucking tears of joy and all I could think was how much I loved my Man for making it all possible and how unbelievably joyful I was in that moment. I’m literally tearing up just replaying it in my head right now 😒

So the show was incredible. And we had a lot of fun in the surrounding area since we were there for three days. Everything was pretty smooth coming back but as soon as I started working again my bipolar issues started raging. I started easing off the exercise, thinking that was making me manic. My man and I got sick when we got back in Clearwater. His cleared up, mine became pneumonia and around this time I finally stopped taking progesterone altogether because I was certain that was what was making me crazy. I was trying to get used to it for forty days until I was finally like ‘NO MORE!’.

Over the next week or two I slowly started feeling sane again and gradually less moody and hair triggery. Then I’m talking to a Trans Friend on Instagram one day and She said ‘You’re supposed to cycle progesterone ten days on, twenty days off. That’s seriously negligent that neither the doctor nor the pharmacy told you!” (Thanks again, Sophie Marie! ❀) .

So yeah, I took four months worth of progesterone in forty days. I feel like an idiot of course. But it’s true, neither the doctor nor the pharmacist gave me instructions and the bottle said to take daily. Even with established trans care providers, stuff like this happens. But whatever, at least I didn’t get so loopy I had to get hospitalized

I’m back to working out almost every morning now, but I’m going a little easier. I’m almost done with my second cycle of progesterone (now that I have the proper fucking instructions) and I’ve got an absolutely amazing new Trans Girl friend I’ve been having a BLAST πŸ’₯ texting and bantering with latelyπŸ€—πŸ™πŸŒˆ. I wish I knew more people to do stuff with in Clearwater but I am indeed grateful beyond words for my online family. Facebook consistently pissed me off to the point of jumping ship but Instagram and WordPress were both far too dear to me to part with and still are.

I made a Battle Purse too, and am proceeding with my pink Battle Outfit project too🀘

In other news, my Man finally saw his Physician. It had been like a year. His Doctor is transitioning to male and He gave us the number of a local lawyer who does transition related legal stuff pro Bono so I’m waiting for a call back from her office about doing my name and gender change SOON! The cool part is, I’ve been looking for a new Trans friendly primary care Doctor because I’ve been just seeing specialists for the last year or so. So I’m going to see about getting an appointment with my Man’s doctor because he’s local and I think he takes my insurance 🀘

Grateful for having my RA under control. Trying to do a bit of work on the rest of MeπŸ’‹

Cheers!

-Lily Jane 🌷

Of malaise and persistence…

Things have been rougher than usual the last month. As  I compose this post  I find myself back in a state of relative peace. I’ve only regained my footing in the last five days. The Iron Maiden show gave me a much needed boost as the three weeks leading up to it were pure depressive hell.

I was fine at , say my job. That kept me plenty busy. It’s just the down time that’s been eating at me. I never know what in the hell to do with myself. I mean, I haven’t become a total house ape. I go for a good long bicycle ride fairly regularly and try to get out and do stuff with friends. It is difficult though with so many conflicting schedules and whatnot.

RA-wise  I’m continuing a trend for the better. I’ve been off the steroids for over two weeks and  I’m trying to keep it up. Since the methotrexate was raised I’ve noticed a reduction in  symptoms overall. Which is damn good because taking the stuff is harsh enough that I’d really feel cheated if it weren’t freaking effective. It plus the Enbrel seems like a pretty potent combination.  Last injection was a real Bear though. I think  I went too deep and muscled it. Most painful shot I’ve ever given myself. I started growl-screaming halfway through. My leg was sore at work all day 😦

Between RA and being Bipolar it kind of feels like  I never really get to relax. I mean, I shouldn’t make it sound like  I have it that bad. I’m still strong enough to work and  I’m going to try to make something of myself. If only  I could figure out what. I really have no idea what I’d be good at. Anyhow, the meds are doing me pretty well at present. The steroids were really throwing me off kilter for a while and  I’m happy to be off of them. 

Two days from today will make a month my Lover has been gone. Also, another month until he returns so yay for halfway there.I was hysterically depressed for the first three weeks but Iron Maiden plus time with my friends helped get my ass back among the living. It was an incredible experience. Obviously lots of tracks from The Book of Souls as it’s TBOS tour but also a ton of classics including:

Wrathchild, Children of the Damned, The Trooper, Powerslave, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden,  The Number of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years.

Lots of fascinating people watching and my Buddy Justin came with me. His ticket was my birthday gift to him and we had an absolute blast. Went to a Killer Pizza place and had a little pre show meal then it was off to The Amalie Arena to see Metal’s Finest. They were top notch and sounded positively amazing. Pure professionals.

So yeah, I’m hanging in there. Got myself some great memories and my Holy Pilgrimage to see my backpatch band is complete. To anyone who may be reading, all I want for my birthday is an Iron Maiden T-shirt or two (available on the official Iron Maiden website)with North American tour dates on the back as  I was too strapped to buy one at the show πŸ˜‰

Hey, don’t hate me for trying. I’m just a happy crazy person who just achieved a major Bucket List goal πŸ™‚

That’s about all  I have for now except a photo from the Iron Maiden facebook page. My Buddy Justin and  I are in the upper midsection below the right spotlight. 

Until we meet again,

Thom

Muh Summer

It’s right around the corner. The humidity is spiking in grand Florida fashion as I prepare myself to go see Iron Maiden in June. That along with turning thirty-five are the main points of interest so far. 

On the home front I’m bracing myself for two lonely months without my Lover Man. He got a lead in a Play in Alaska. I would have liked to join him but  I simply couldn’t scrape together the funds. Also, I feel like it’ll be best for our animals having one of us here.

Rheumatologically the battle continues unabated. In spite of a year of various meds my Vectra DA score (Disease Activity) more than doubled since last year when  I was first diagnosed with RA. I’m trying to remind myself that this number doesn’t reflect the increase in my methotrexate which I’m sure is helping. 

Sometimes I’ll have a few days straight of my joints being relatively calm and painless. It’s easy to underestimate how capricious and erratic my body can be. I’ll start feeling strong and cocky but the swelling always returns and slaps me back into my place. Still, overall I think I’m showing some recent improvement and am optimistic that incorporating a gluten and sugar free diet will give me even more edge. My first diet attempt crashed and burned but  I plan to give it another go while my Man is in AK.

So yeah, the summer is pretty wide open. I am sure as shit not just being a house ape the whole damn time. I’m gonna miss the living fuck out of Him 😦

That’s about all for now. I find this is a useful protip to give oneself from time to time πŸ˜‰

Be well-

Thom