First Dr Visit in 5 Years!

Guys, I’ve got kind of a long story to share with y’all. Not many will probably care or have it matter to them all that much, but it’s been a pretty big deal for me, so here we go.

I went to the doctor today for the first time in probably five years. I was diagnosed diabetic over seven years ago when I had my leg surgery and only have had help managing it for a couple of those 7 years. Because several years ago, I pretty much wrote off going to the doctor full stop. My insurance only covered Kansas and the doctors I had been to in Kansas were so quick to dismissive of anything that I brought up about my health as a trans man. So I said eff it why bother. And since then have been managing (or not, as the case may be) my diabetes by doing what worked for me when I first got out of the hospital. Admittedly, for a long time I didn’t do anything about it. I was in a spot where I just really didn’t care because none of it was going to help me feel more validated. Not that I *wanted* to die or anything, but whatever happened happened.

Since I’ll be 40 in another month and a half, though, I’ve been thinking about getting back to a doctor and giving this one more effort to be heard and seen and try to get things done. I finally have insurance this year that will let me see doctors in Missouri and the endocrinologist that I wanted to go to is in Missouri. But since it had been so long since I’d seen him, I had to get a new referral from my PCP (which I hadn’t had one in 5ish years).

I had no idea who to go to. I’d talked to my mom about it and she suggested that I go to the Dr. Williams here in town and though I was hesitant, I was like, okay. It’s like three blocks from my work and he’s a young guy, so what the heck. I’ll give it a try and we’ll see if this destroys my view or if it brings me hope.

So I get there and weigh in (which my scales at home are three pounds heavier than at the dr office, so that was victory #1), they take my blood pressure, which was high because yay anxiety, and then I wait. He comes in and says hello, introduces himself, and I said “Well legally I’m Heather but I go by Heath.”

Sidenote: First time I’ve ever been confident enough to not just roll with being called Heather. Win #2.

He goes “OK Heath. I can get on board with that.” And immediately, the walls that I’ve been building and buckling down started to crumble. For the first time in YEARS I feel like a doctor actually listened to me. He asked me all about my history with diabetes and how I’ve been treating and taking care. And I was 100% honest with him in everything. He didn’t lecture me, just took the information in, took some notes, and said “OK well first I want to get your A1C so we have a starting point and we’ll go from there. And I want to check your blood pressure again now that you’ve been here for a bit see if it’s come down any.”

He leaves, the nurses come in and prick my finger and stab my arm to get vials to check organ functions and vitamin levels and blah blah blah. He comes back in and he goes “Well it’s not great news.” I said “How bad is it?” He goes “It’s 8.2.” I was like “OH! Well that’s better than I thought it’d be!” (Win #3!)

So we talked about my diet and I told him that I’d just joined Weight Watchers again with some friends and I was getting serious about changing how I eat for life and not just a diet that will fail me for a 157,000th time and how this and that. He goes, “So are you still wanting that referral to Dr. Hamlett or are you wanting to just have me help you manage it?” I said, “Well…” (deep breath) “I’m totally cool with you managing my diabetes and helping me get all that in check, but I’ll need a referral to Sean eventually because I’d really like to start T soonish.”

Dude didn’t bat an eye. He didn’t laugh, he didn’t scoff, and not only did he not do all the things that I’ve gotten as reactions before, but he goes, “Well excellent then! Because I can help you get your diabetes and other things under control before we send you to him.” I said, “Cool. Because every other doctor I’ve ever talked to about it has just dismissed it or even laughed at it when I bring it up.” He goes, “Listen, I’ve helped a few people start their transition and I know doctors around here aren’t always super open to being helpful. You are who you are and what I care about is your health. And if things don’t work out at Hamlett that he helps you with it, then I’ll send you to KU. But we’re going to get this done.”

Y’ALL! It took everything I had to not jump off that table and hug him and start crying. This is the cooperation and effort from a doctor that I’ve been searching for for SO LONG. In that moment, I just smiled so big and I was like, “That’s amazing.”

So – I’ll get results back Monday from my blood work and I go back in 3 months to check A1C again and see where we’re at.

Everything happens in its own time. My parents and I are finally at a good place with me being Heath and not Heather so that we can do this transition together instead of me feeling like I’m alone when it comes to having their support. They don’t always get it right (more often not than so, actually) but one of these days, they’re gonna look pretty ridiculous calling me their daughter when I have a full beard! LOL

This is finally happening. FINALLY! What a way to enter my 40’s.

Here’s to the next 40 living perfectly as myself, who I was perfectly created to be. Thanks for being here with me. I sure do love y’all.

Let’s Get Uncomfortable!

I’ve never been the type to enjoy the spotlight, despite being a Leo. I’d go out of my way to make sure that people were comfortable, regardless of how it made me feel.

I’d just keep my mouth shut, sit in silence, and let people continue to go on as if the way they treated people—the things that they thought were right and wrong—was absolutely correct.

Put that on the backburner.

Eight and a half years ago, I came to the realization that I’m transgender.

Thirty years of my life made sense in a matter of just a few days. Thirty years of confusion.

Thirty years of feeling like I was different but having no idea what made me different.

Thirty years of feeling completely out of place. Thirty years without feeling like I belonged anywhere.

My friends and cousins had boyfriends and girlfriends, many friends, and it just seemed like they knew what they were doing and where they wanted to go in life.

At that point in time, I had been out as a lesbian for four years, but, as the previous 26 years of life had gone, I never felt “right” in that box, either. I hate boxes, for the record, but everyone has to categorize people, so here we are.

I don’t know how to describe to anyone what I mean when I say that I never felt like a lesbian. But…I didn’t.

Growing up, the friends I played “house” with always put me in the “husband/dad” role. We never had to discuss it; it was never up for debate; it just was.

My first crush was a girl. When I got to be old enough to learn that boys were supposed to be with girls and not boys, and girls with boys and not girls, a whole other level of discomfort set in.

I give you this back story to bring you to where I am now: I’ve been out openly as a trans man for a little over two years. I don’t wear flags, and I don’t go around announcing it because, honestly, it’s nobody’s business.

But if someone brings something up that opens a conversation, I’ll totally go there. It’s a fairly recent development thanks to a few factors, but this post isn’t about that. (Don’t worry; I’ll touch on that another time.)

Now, to the meat of this. Listen…

How are we going to grow into our humanity if we aren’t made to be uncomfortable?

Does change in any shape or size come without at least a little discomfort? Hint: if you answered anything but “Hell naw!” you’re wrong.

I don’t mean that as asshole-y as it came out, but hear me out.

Why are we so likely to just sit by and let people remain ignorant? Sure, educating people can be exhausting. Trust me. I get that. But also…do we really want people getting educated by Bing and Google?

And I’m not even talking solely about LGBTQ+ issues. I mean things across the board, from religion to the LGBTQ+ issues and literally everything in between.

It’s going to take being uncomfortable and being willing to make people uncomfortable for us to progress and unify on the hot topics that keep us so divided. 

Haven’t we been divided long enough already?! It’s ridiculous.

We have to stop being so afraid of the tough conversations. We have to quit being complacent in this division. Reach across the aisle. Offer a handshake or a firm slap, whichever is appropriate for the situation at hand.

Being uncomfortable sucks. I’m 10,000 percent with you on that.

But you know what makes it suck less? When you come to a middle ground with someone who you never thought you’d be able to find common ground with. 

That is what it’s all about. Seriously. 

We need more compromise. We need more discussion. We need more discomfort.

It’s the only way we’re going to become more comfortable with each other.

A Response to Ace Metaphor’s “Why Men Cheat”

I’ve seen a lot of posts and videos about why people cheat.

Men, specifically.

I guess some famous guy got busted cheating on his wife of 12 years or something and now, of course, the internet is blowing up about it. I don’t know if any of you follow Ace Metaphor or not, but he has had a few videos touching on this. This morning as I was getting ready, I was watching one about why men cheat, which is problematic from the start because the implication is that women don’t cheat. But that’s a whole other issue that I’ll touch on in a minute.

His reason for men cheating was basically two key points:

>> watching too much porn
>> cheating being what they saw growing up from other males who were important people in their lives.

So, I’m going to unpack this.

First of all, watching porn doesn’t make you a cheater. Watching porn gives you unrealistic expectations and ideas about what sex is like, but it doesn’t make you a cheater.

Secondly, okay, I’ll go with the idea of cheating being normalized in childhood to a degree. But when you’re a grown-ass man? You should know that it’s not something that’s okay to do.

We’re all raised in different ways with different examples being set for us. Our abilities to love and respect people, along with our desires to be loved and respected, are pretty universal, though. This thought goes along with so many aspects of life for me, too. We all had things in our childhood that hindered us and trained us to believe or think a certain way, but guess what? At some point in time, our issues are no longer our parents’ fault. We have to take responsibility for what we do and how we treat people across the board.

I know that people have a lot of messed up childhood trauma that will certainly affect them into adulthood. It will shape how you respond and react to situations. I’m not saying, “Get over it already.” I’m saying, don’t use it as an excuse to be a shitty human being. Don’t use it as a way to always be the victim. Rise above and live your life as the best human being you possibly can.

And now I’ll get down off my soapbox about it. But I know plenty of people (myself included) who have been through some really messed up, traumatic stuff. But they’re wonderful human beings. They don’t use that as a crutch to be a hateful, spiteful, terrible person.

The other side to why this bugs me so much is that people always focus more on men cheating—as if men never get cheated on, which I have a lot to say, but really I don’t need to say anything. See above about not being a shitty person.

Here’s the thing—and I’ve been wanting to touch on this for a while now—why are we all in such a big damn hurry to be tied to, connected, and “owned” by another person romantically?

(It’s rhetorical; I have my theories.)

I’m aiming this at myself just as much as anyone else, so don’t think I’m being preachy. It’s a recent revelation of how “toxic” this is to us. We claim others as our own before we really know them. We jump into bed and bond with them physically and emotionally before we know if that’s a safe thing to do. We’re in such a hurry to belong and not be single and be attached that we ignore a whooooole bunch of stuff that we should have really stopped and paid attention to.

In the end, we wind up hurting ourselves much more than was ever necessary because of this.

I’ve always been pretty quick to jump into the physical aspects of dating and relationships because that was part of the acceptance. Especially after I came out as being trans. Like I needed that validation and I got it in that way. Every other aspect was a shit show, but, hey, the sex was good (enough) so why pay attention to warning signs? (Yes, sarcasm!)

It’s funny now because I’m beyond all that, but, at the time, it wasn’t funny. I wound up enduring a lot of abuse and trauma because of it. Don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t feel sorry for me. It is what it is, and I learned and grew from it. But, damn. It was so unnecessary.

After I sent my last ex packing, I decided that I wasn’t going to do that anymore. Dealing with the rejection and disrespect and everything else that came with those relationships was too much. I was 37 years old and completely over going through that. I’m not a person who’s afraid of being alone; I love to be alone, actually. I’m an only child who grew up in the country—I’ve got being alone on lock, believe me. But I also have always known that eventually someone would accept me and love me exactly where I am with exactly the past and trauma that I have and that it would be pretty easy.

So, when I was single and ready to date again, I made a promise to myself not to get physical for a while. Luckily for me, my dysphoria makes that easier, but still. I knew it was something I needed to do so that I could have a relationship with someone I’m compatible with on a spiritual and emotional level and not just someone whose physical touch I enjoyed.

You know what? It’s paying off.

When we rush into the physical, we mistake physically feeling good for being in love. For having connections with people who we aren’t actually compatible with. Tying this back into the cheating theory: I think this is why cheating happens so much. Because when you get past the orgasms, when shit gets real, you aren’t connected to that person enough to stick around when things aren’t fun. That is where relationships are built. During the harder times. People just don’t want to put in the work.

Put in the work. Be patient physically so that you aren’t blinded by feel-good hormones into thinking that red flags are okay. Because they’re not. If you see warning signs, stop, dig it out of the ground, and evaluate it. Don’t be afraid to leave. Because if you don’t when you first get the twinge not to, then you’re going to wind up hurting yourself much more in the end because you stayed in a toxic relationship.

Toxic relationships of any kind—friendship, kinship, romantic relationship—aren’t good for anyone. You have the right as a human being to leave any of those toxic relationships at any time.

Let’s take better care of ourselves and of each other.

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