Last night in sunny Busselton

So tomorrow I leave Busselton for the fourth time in twelve months to get on a plane to the other side of the world. This time however there is a joyous occasion to go to as well as seeing lots of friends and relatives I’ve not seen for some time. It’s going to be a sort of “Savage Garden tour take two” as there will be a great deal of driving to be done during which I can listen to my favourite band and there will also hopefully be some catching up with people who haven’t met me as Stephanie yet. While I’m sure they will all be positive meetings there will no doubt be a considerable amount of telling my story which I still find hard in places and need to draw upon the words of my favourite Savage Garden track in order to get past it.

My last full day in WA was spent partly at our house build in Nannup where I have been preparing the now locked up house for having the insulation and plaster board done. As it has been a public holiday here I thought it a good time to compare our idyllic south west with what I am going to tomorrow. The drive to the Nannup property is 68 kms door to door (I can say that now that the door has been fitted!) and once I had set course down the Vasse highway just a few kilometres from home the contrast was fully visible. From there to getting into the town of Nannup I overtook one car and met just 2 vehicles coming in the opposite direction over a distance of approximately 55 kilometres. The sun was shining, the was hardly a breath of wind and the temperature was already making its way towards a top of 24 degrees, all this when we are just five weeks from the start of winter! Autumn is such a wonderful season in the south west of Australia, perfect temperatures for most things with cooler nights which I must confess we have been counteracting by the use of our wood burning fire. There really is nothing to compare with the glorious warmth given out by a fire of this type especially when it is primed with a couple of chunks of well dried out Jarrah. It warms right through to your soul! I am not expecting any of the former when I reach the UK on Friday, no driving for long distances with almost no traffic, not much chance of 24 degree days of being warmed in the evening by a wood burning fire but it will be good to be back all the same, I am so looking forward to seeing all my friends and relations even if the place has too many cars, too many days when the mercury struggles to get into double digits and a greyness which we just don’t get here. I remember someone telling me when we first arrived here back in 2006 that the sun shines on 360 days out of the 365/366,  at the time I didn’t believe them but it’s true and even though we are heading for winter I will miss the place, our friends and our pets! Hopefully the sun will shine while I am in the UK so I don’t miss home too much!

Down to earth with a bump again!

I was up early today in order to get set off to Perth in good time. I had two tasks today, first was to take the old body off the Amarok to a guy who deals in them for accident repair jobs. It must be a fairly profitable business judging by the amount of stock he has at his warehouse. He paid me $550 for mine delivered but if you happen to damage just the tailgate and priced up a replacement it would cost between $1500 and $2000 so it is cheap stock if you can afford to keep them until someone wants one! Then it was a drive to west Perth to see my gender specialist. I haven’t seen him since March last year so there was lots to tell. He is a lovely man, he has been very caring with me since he dropped the bombshell about me being born intersex in December 2015 and today was always going to be difficult as I seem to have complex issues which need attention. We talked for some time about the things which have happened to me since I last saw him then as I expected he asked if he could take a look. I undressed and laid on the bed with most of me covered up. He said he was going press in various areas and  asked me if it hurt, he started quite high up which was fine but the nearer he got to the swollen area the more it hurt. He also pressed at the sides and the edges of my pubic bone before announcing that he thought it is bone issue rather than a tissue problem which he said is treatable. Then came the bombshell, he pulled the cover down, looked at me and said “wow, what a mess, you must be very disappointed” I couldn’t answer, the tears just rolled down my face, he apologised for being blunt, I dried my eyes and told him I am indeed very disappointed. I got dressed and went back down to his desk. We talked about options for treatment and options for further surgery. I must have been with him for almost an hour and as much as I was upset about what he said it is only the truth and I already knew it.

This brings me to something I just have to mention. I am so blessed to have all of these professional people around me who care about me. My doctor, the psychologist, the gender specialist, even the lovely lady who does my IPL treatments who’s machine broke on Wednesday so she couldn’t do my treatment and therefore doesn’t earn any money, they all care for me for some reason. Then there is my lovely neighbour who does my beauty treatments, I am so lucky to have all these people around to support me and to take some of the pressure off my poor suffering parter Denise. I will get through this rough time and come out the other side a stronger person.

When the light at the end of the tunnel seems to have gone out

There is no escaping the fact that I am going through one of the toughest periods of my journey at the moment. I am in constant pain even though I am dosed up on morphine every day and at the moment it is very difficult to see how and when it will improve. My GP is doing a great job and looking after me the best she can but sadly having had no previous experience of transgender surgery she is limited in how much she can help me. While she will never possess the beautiful kindness that my previous GP has, in her own way she has gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying to sort my problems out and I thank her constantly for her time and efforts.

Sadly this is not being reciprocated from Philadelphia. After waiting 10 days for a Skype consultation I set my alarm for 4.15 on Friday morning in order to make myself presentable for my 4.30 appointment but it sadly never materialised. As there is some confusion as to which Skype address to use I covered both bases and by using Denise’s iPad as well as mine, had them both set up in front of me, online and ready for the call but it never came. I then received an email telling me that she had tried but couldn’t get an answer. Whether she was using my old Skype address which was in my old name I don’t know, after replying to the email and saying that I had been ready and waiting since 4.25 was sent another email showing that she had tried to contact someone but nothing to say which address she had been using. I have been very flexible over the last 10 months or so in accepting calls at silly hours when in reality she could have been more thoughtful and called me early in her day so it would have been late evening here but I so need to speak to her that I am willing to either stay awake or get up very early to do so. Anyway I have requested another appointment only this time I have asked if I can call her instead of her calling me. I guess that we will never know the true story, she says she tried and I know I didn’t get any calls so it will remain a mystery.

Having had 8 medical appointments in the last couple of weeks I am exhausting most of my options. Neither the ultrasound or the CT scan revealed anything and the gynaecologist, as lovely and kind as he was, couldn’t shed any light on what is causing the pain or treat the source of the constant bleeding as he also doesn’t have any experience of transgender women. So the time has come to look further afield and I have contacted numerous people in different places such as Sydney (no reply, not even a polite sorry can’t help!) Thailand (some definitely not interested, others want every single detail, photos etc before committing to even seeing me) UK (need referral before doing anything) so it seems an up hill battle to say the least! Anyway we will see what this week brings, hopefully some good news at last.

Throughout all my trials and tribulations there has been one constant in my life who has brought me back from the brink on many occasions. I am of course talking about my best friend and soulmate Denise, she is the most amazing part of my life. I often think back to the day my Boss’s wife came into my office back in October 2012 and said to me that there was a lady at the golf club looking for some companionship. She told me who it was and my thoughts went straight to the day I delivered her new Xtrail Ti in August 2011. It was a wet day and I pulled up in her drive, picked up the paperwork from the front seat and headed for the door. She answered to door and asked me in, we completed the remaining paperwork and I suggested we go outside in order for me to show her through the features of her new car. She politely but abruptly declined and announced that she could read the manual. I was a little taken aback by this as the Nissan brand was new to her and has some somewhat quirky features especially when it comes to the stereo and setting up the Bluetooth, I thought for a second then said “well if you are sure? You can always call me if you have any queries” and left. My colleague who had come to collect me was surprised to see me out of the house so quickly and not heading for the car in order to do the handover but we left and that was that. I had spoken to her numerous times since and sorted an issue out with the folding mechanism on the rear seats which was faulty but can’t say it was a particularly friendly relationship. Consequently I did nothing about contacting her with a view to asking her out. I wasn’t looking for a relationship of any kind, I was enjoying being on my own and being able to be Stephanie whenever I was at home. I wasn’t in the best of health either as I was waiting for an appointment to sort my raging toxic thyroid which had got to the stage of me not being able to sleep or relax in any way so the thought of a relationship didn’t excite me much. It wasn’t until some time later that I was introduced to her best friend who was in the market for a new car. Like Denise she was handballed to me by the boss as he didn’t really know what deals and specials were on at the time. While out on the test drive she asked me to call in at the golf club in order to show her best friend who turned out to be Denise. I parked in the car park and sure enough Denise was just putting her clubs into her car, little did I know that it was pre-organised so I came into contact with her again. After returning to the dealership to do the paperwork I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to call Denise and ask her out. It was almost a condition of the sale! Anyway, I did and the rest is history as they say. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life even if I was a little bullied into it. She is my absolute rock and has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met, gives far more than anyone should have to, she is my world.