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Journal SarahAnnAlien's Journal: Yawn...

My brain still isn't quite recalibrated from my little adventure; I went to bed at 10pm last night, then woke up at 2am and never really got back to sleep. I hate it when that happens.

Finally decided to get up and DO some stuff; I had a PC with Fedora on it and I had decided to install Ubuntu instead, so I'm doing that now. Of course, first I had to spend a couple minutes checking the previous configuration, then booting into XP on the other partition, then 45 minutes to figure out why the network wasn't working, then patch it, then scan it for viruses. I think that's why Windows and I don't get along very well; it seems to take a lot of my time even when I'm not even trying to use it! But, finally, Ubuntu is now installing onto the other partition. One more chore done.

I have a lot of chores like that; stuff I "meant" to do, but never got around to because I just wasn't feeling well enough.

I'm rather enjoying not feeling yucky, for a change!

I'm still in a moderate amount of pain from the surgery; the right side was defintely complicated by a whole lot of blood collecting somewhere or another. The biggest problem with that was that the tissue was all tight and swollen, and that was causing a lot of pain. I was a bit panicked when I started to bleed on Wednesday, but as it turned out, it was a good thing; the collected blood was coming out, and by Thursday morning I was in dramatically less pain, and was able to go to work by mid-morning, after dealing with the overnight bleeding, and spending entirely too much time trying to remember how to get ready for work in the morning. It had only been a week and a half!

The good news is that, while I'm in pain, it's really only a bit more pain than I had *before* I had the surgery, and there's a good chance that the pain will go away as I heal. Yay!

The *really* good news is that I'm still emotionally stable! The random ups and downs of the past six months seem to have just gone away, and really, that was the biggest thing I was hoping for from the surgery. I did kinda sorta burst into tears on Thursday morning while drying my hair, but I really think that was just accumulated stress; I felt better within ten or fifteen minutes. I'm pretty sure that's just how I am. And I'm ok with that.

I was looking in my medicine cupboard this morning, admiring all the drugs that I no longer have to take. And dramatically less estrogen, too. I'd been in the habit of keeping a spare bottle or two so that, in the event of an emergency, national crisis, or whatever, that I would have enough estrogen to last a couple of months. I realized this morning that, now, that's enough estrogen to last me two or three *years*. Cool! I guess I won't need to go to the pharmacy again for a loooooong time!

In about a month, I'll go have some blood drawn and then see my endocrinologist. I'm guessing I won't need to see him very often anymore, either.

Oh, and as near as I can tell, I'm magically pooping like normal again! After three years of the spironolactone giving me fits, I had thought that it might take a long time for things to get back to normal, but in fact, they're already better than normal ever was! I had two big bran muffins for dinner last night, and no tummy pain at all!

I still need to harass my insurance company about reimbursing me for the surgery; with all the health benefits that I've gotten from the surgery, it's just silly that they didn't cover this! I'll see if I can reason with them. Even if I'm on the hook for the whole thing, it's not that bad; I'm putting enough money into my Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) to cover the entire surgery, and that's all pre-tax. Once I get things settled with the insurance company I'll file to get reimbursed for the remainder. Stupid paperwork.

Now I'm starting to look at what I want to do next.

I know I want to go visit Dad and Stepmom; I was supposed to go about a month ago but the estrogen injections were making me too sick and I had to cancel. It's also past time for me to go visit you-know-who who has come to see *me* once a month since we started dating. I think it's my turn to do the driving, for a change! And he'll probably come see me again, too. And we're planning on going to ComicCon in July.

Dad has volunteered to pay for some additional electrolysis. Now that my insurance covers SRS, he's off the hook for that, but still wants to help. We're debating travelling to one or another out-of-state clinic that uses injectable anesthetic and can do a bunch of work at once; having been full-time for a year and a half now, letting my hair grow out for weekly electrolysis sessions is much more problematic than it was before, despite the fact that I've had a bunch of hair removed already. But a few anesthetized full-day sessions would make a big difference. And Dad's volunteered to go with me, too.

And then there's SRS.

I'm debating three different scenarios now: try to do it this year, around the end of the year, so that the recovery time will overlap with the Christmas/New Year's break at the university, which is the quietest time of the year and thus a good time to be gone. Or, try to do it next year, when I can use next year's HCRA to cover my share (20%) of the surgery. Or, just postpone it indefintely, which is more or less ok with me, since I'm not in any hurry. I'll probably think about this for a couple months while I heal up. I wouldn't worry about it all right now, except that there's usually a 4-6 month lead time for the surgery, so if I want to do it this year, I'll need to put that in motion within the next couple of months. This assumes, of course, that it's even feasible to do, which will depend on a variety of random things.

And I want to work on my garden. It hasn't done well; it has needed attention, but hasn't gotten it over the last few months. Lots of stuff has died, or is now permanently stunted. Oh well. A little more dirt, start a few more seeds... I'll be back in business. And not everything is a disaster. I have a tomato plant that actually has a couple of tiny green tomatoes on it already, so I have high hopes that it will stay alive. And the broccoli was very pretty when it flowered! You're actually supposed to eat it before then. White fuzz killed the zucchini and the gourds, but that's ok, you're actually not supposed to plant them together anyway; they can cross-pollinate and you can end up with zucchini you have to cut with a saw! The strawberries are alive but still don't look very healthy; I'm not sure what to do for them. They flowered quite a bit but it looks like it will all be deformed little micro-berries.

The family of birds that has taken up residence on my balcony seems to be doing very well! Mommy bird still flies away every time I stand near the door, but that's ok. And it's a little noisy during feeding time. I tried to get a picture of the babies, but couldn't quite get up high enough; I can kind of see two little balls of fuzz in the bottom of the nest. Maybe in a week or so they'll be big enough to take a picture. I'll try again sometime.

And I think the sewing machine would like some attention too; I was very intent on learning to sew, but haven't had time to even play with it since, oh, October, maybe? I was thinking about trying to make little stuffed animals or something; I already bought the little plastic beans to fill them with. Or maybe I'll make stuffed plants instead of stuffed animals; at least they wouldn't die quite so easily!

And I need to start thinking about getting back to calculus, too. The one course I need to get my degree is only offered in January, but it will take me many months to get back up to speed enough to even think about trying to pass it.

So, now that my health is improving, there will be a lot to do.

But the biggest benefit I've received from the surgery so far?


As my hormone balance slowly came unglued last year, the hope I had found by maintaining that balance slowly went away as well. I did a pretty good job of learning to cope without it, I think, but I had to work quite a bit to force myself to believe that it was perfectly ok to live my entire life without any hope at all for a reasonable future.

It's really nice to have that hope back... and to know that, thanks to the surgery, it will probably stay for good this time.

And while I think that the immediate future presents considerable challenges, I think, maybe, with hope, I'll be able to get through it.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.