About:

It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman who also happens to have bipolar disorder. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that myself and others like me, face every day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Insurance is Pissing Me Off!

I called and set up an appointment today to see my psychologist next Tuesday. I’m giving her a shot at the insurance company to see if anything she says can persuade them, if not I may have to put my plan in motion. As it stands now, my only option would be to schedule a date for surgery and then hope that insurance bails me out of the majority of the bill at the last minute. If they don’t I’d be either stuck with a huge bill that I can’t pay off of or I lose over 600 dollars that I would have already spent and cancel it. I don’t like either option involved in going that route.

I looked at on their site last night for something that one of the people I talked to told me to look up. It was the online version of the member handbook. It said that it didn’t cover anything related to “gender transformation”. Don’t you love their wording on that one? Everyone I talked to said it wasn’t covered unless I could get a doctor to call them up and convince them that I needed it. So it’s sounding like my chances are good if I can just get a doctor to somehow be on my side and convince them for me. That’s just to find out if they will cover it or not, I would still have to find out if I could get it through Dr. McGinn like I want to.

I don’t want to go the route I’m thinking of, but I may have to. If nothing else works I’m making a few cuts on my arms, drinking a bit if I can manage to spare some cash for alcohol, and taking 8 or 9 tylenol and checking myself into the mental ward at the nearest hospital on a 72 hour hold. That should be just enough to not cause any physical damage to me but convince them that I’m depressed and suicidal. If I go in there and say I want someone to get the growths out of my body that have been poisoning me with testosterone before I do it myself, someone will listen. That should get a doctor on the phone to my insurance company pretty quickly. I’ll do it a few times if I have to.

They picked the wrong trans girl to attempt to screw over. I have no job and a ton of free time to check myself in and out of the hospital and cost them all kinds of money. Their decision is going to be either pay for an indefinite amount of time to hold me in the hospital or pay for $4300 surgery and have no more problems with me afterwards. I have not yet begun to fight for this. If they want to play hard ball then that’s what I’ll do until I get some straight answers from them. If I have to I’ll throw a few pretty powerful acronyms their way too, such as AMA, APA, ACLU, and lawyer! I’m sure there’s nothing more that a very TG friendly ACLU lawyer would love more than a crack at an insurance company that’s trying to stone wall me. That’s a pro bono case if I’ve ever heard of one.

I’ve never been in the military myself, but the trans girl who originally helped me out was a former army ranger. I picked up the phrase one hundred percent and then some from her, and that’s what I’m doing about this. I’m putting everything I’ve got into it and then some. I’m sick and tired of stingy intolerant insurance companies denying us what for the last 15 years has been considered a medical necessity by the AMA and APA. If a fight is what it’s going to take to get this then I’ll fight and I’ll win! They haven’t heard the last of me, not by a long shot.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Indecision Day

Today was more like indecision day than judgement day, as I had taken to calling it yesterday. I called the insurance place to see about getting surgery covered. On the first call they told me that it was excluded from my plan unless I could get the doctor or surgeon to call and talk to them to say that I needed it. So, I decided to call Dr McGinn's office to see if that was something I could possibly get her to do. They told me that they don't do pre authorizations because she isn't contracted with any insurance places, so I would have to schedule the procedure first before she could make that call. So in other words I would have to pay for the initial consult and surgery deposit before I find out if insurance might cover it. They also told me that a few people had managed to get their insurance to cover things before, but it was never anything cut and dry and they had to kind of fight for it a little.

I decided to call a different number at the insurance place and ask again about an orchiectomy instead. I got the same answer I did for SRS on that too. A doctor has to call and talk to them so they can determine if it's necessary. I talked to a friend of mine that suggested seeing if my psychologist could make the call. I called them back at the insurance place for a 3rd time to ask specifically about that. They told me that it had to be a medical doctor, not a psychologist or psychiatrist to make the call. So basically it's like they're telling me maybe on the coverage question. They didn't say yes and they didn't say no either.

I could try to get my doctor from the clinic to call, but she's technically just a nurse practitioner. They gave me the impression that they want to hear from a full MD doctor. At this point I'm starting to think my best option is to check myself into the mental ward at the nearest hospital after making a few cuts on my arms and drinking a bit and complain that I'm seriously depressed. Maybe then I can get a doctor to make a phone call to my insurance place and say I need an orchi before I attempt to perform one on myself. I'm not actually at any kind of suicidal stage, but I can fake it if it helps my cause.

At this point I'm just going for an orchi. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not in a decent enough financial situation to handle the post op care for SRS. I also think I have a better chance of getting insurance to cover a $4300 procedure as opposed to one that's over 17 grand. It gets me halfway there and saves me money on meds in the long run. I've heard all the stories about shrinkage and stuff, and honestly if I were to lose a couple of inches on depth for later SRS I'll be fine with that. Six inches is the ideal, but I've heard that the average for post op trans women is around 5 anyway. I've head of people who were less then that and way more than that, so I guess it's just going to depend on the person. I'm lesbian anyway, so a couple extra inches won't make much of a difference to me. I care first about functionality and how it looks more so than how much I can shove in it. That's the one that I feel is least important, though still important none the less.

I don't know what's going to happen in regards to surgery and insurance, I guess only time is going to tell. I'm going to make another appointment to see my therapist next week and see where she thinks I should go from here. I'll decide after that if I need to commit myself for any length of time in order to convince anyone that I need this. I'm ready to put up a fight to get this. They never told me they won't cover it, so until I get a definite yes or no I'm going to keep trying.

I also heard from an ex girlfriend of mine last night. We dated before I started transition a few years ago, and I've been hearing from her off and on lately. Things haven't been going so well for her from what she told me last night, so I told her that I had never stopped caring about her and that I was still here for her when she needs me. We talked a good bit and then some more today also. She admitted last night that I always had a place in her heart and that she had really cared about me and wasn't sure why things ended like they did. Today I told her I thought I was an idiot for saying it, but that if she ever wanted to give things with us another try that I was willing to. She told me that I wasn't and said it's possible, but that she wants to take things slow since she's happy about us talking again.

I don't know where that's going to go, but I'm hopeful. She's always been supportive of me transitioning since I've known her, and she obviously still has some feelings for me on some level. I was only 6 months out of high school and she was in 10th grade when we dated before, so I'm hoping us both being a few years older might help things work better if we do give it another try. We both went to the same school, and she's not that far away, so my chances are good. I guess all I can do is keep the lines of communication open between us and hope for the best.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Figuring Things Out (Flashback Post)

There isn't much to talk about tonight, so I'll leave you with another flashback post.


May 3, 2006
"I told her, finally, and damn am I relieved, she was ok with it! I told her on the 30th, I just haven't had time to write since then. I shaved my legs for the first time today, and I'm pretty happy with it. It feels kind of weird right now, but I guess I'll get used to it. I love how they feel, so I think I'll keep them this way."

May 15, 2006
"I've got to watch that movie on the 19th. There's just been so many signs today, like I'm being told don't forget it. I don't know, I'm scared, this is all just so new to me. I can never tell my grandparents. Why the hell does this torment me so damn much? I can't get to the store to get anything, and I can't order online. I'm being shown what's there and basically told I can't get it. I don't know, I want to be myself, but right now who am I? Am I a guy, or am I a girl?"

My girlfriend at the time ended up being ok with things when I told her. I did only come out as being a crossdresser, so I had a feeling things might go south if I should ever take it farther. I was just beginning to experiment with things and see what I liked and what I didn't. Shaving my legs was just something I could do without worrying about getting clothes or anything.

The movie I talked about was A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story. I remember being at my aunt's house and seeing a commercial about it when I first heard about it. I went home and looked up some information about it and decided that I had to watch it. I had a feeling that somehow it may help me, but I've always had a thing for movies with some kind of gender variant character. I guess it being a true story made me want to see it even more. I was very conflicted at the time about being TG. I wasn't sure if I was happy with crossdressing or if I wanted to take things farther. I had done a lot of research at that point, so I had a very good idea of what I could do. I was just worried about losing my girlfriend since she had reacted badly to me mentioning the possibility of taking hormones.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outed

I got woken up this morning by a text message from my mom, which I ignored for about half an hour before getting up and reading it. She wanted me to ask my brother’s girlfriend if anyone else around here knew about me being TG. She didn’t say why and I texted my brother’s girlfriend and said that my mom wanted me ask. She said no one aside from her, my brother, and her mom. Apparently mom wanted me to pretend that I was asking for myself and not mention her, but she called me after that and said that my soon to be ex step dad found out. I responded by saying I thought he would have found out a long time ago. He apparently had called my mom and left messages saying he didn’t know what was going on or what to call me.

Personally I really don’t give a damn if he knows or not. I’d have let him know a while back if my mom had wanted me to. He’s a dumbass alcoholic jerk that I want nothing to do with anyway, so I couldn’t care less what he thinks of me. I told my mom that if he really wants to bitch at someone to give him my number and tell him to call me, I’d give the bastard an earful. I don’t care what he does to try to seem like he’s changed, he’s still the guy that beat my mother up to me. I don’t know how he found out, but it’s not a big leap to say my brother probably told him or he found out from someone that saw me online.

It’s not really a big deal to me; he’s out of my life, for good I hope. I’ve got more important things to worry about than what soon to be ex family think of me. I need to focus on figuring the insurance information out and looking into that housing program. I want to look into the insurance first, just for sake of possibly getting surgery before I move away from home. It would be nice to know I’m coming back somewhere after that I’d be taken care of. Things will go how ever they’re going to go; I just hope it all turns out well for me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview + (flashback)

I had my food stamps interview today and it went pretty well. The TG issue never actually came up, so I'm considering that a good thing. It was mostly just going over the paperwork I had turned in the other day and making sure I understood how things worked. It was relatively uneventful, I qualified for it and I should get my card in the mail within 30 days. There isn't much else to day about it really. I'm hoping I can use this as a first step towards being more self reliant and getting out on my own. I probably won't get much more than 200 a month, but I guess that's enough to live off of if I spend wisely whenever I get my own place.

Since I really don't have much else to talk about tonight I'm making the rest of the post a flashback one. I'm putting up two journal entries this time since they were both rather short and written within a day of each other.

"I found a transgender message board today at school and joined. I don't know how helpful it'll be, but I have to talk to other people like this someway. I need advice on what to do about this. I haven't been doing it as often, but only because I don't have much to use. I'm scared to go out and buy anything myself. I want to tell Angel so bad, but I don't know how she'll take it."
April 28, 2006

"Well I told my friend Megan about this today, and she at least was open and accepting of it. I've got to tell Angel whether she likes it or not, it's part of me and she has to know. I really like the forum I found, everyone there is so nice and willing to talk. They're all so open about things; I can only hope that one day I can be that open with this. It's hard figuring something like this out. I guess I want to be completely sure that this is enough of a part of me that she needs to know. Oh well, I guess I can't ignore this."
April 29, 2006

It was my senior year of high school when I first started exploring my options. I was still hoping it was nothing more than crossdressing. I used a lot of the free time I had in slack classes to use the school laptops to look up information without my family knowing. There was a lot less monitoring of individual students computer use back then, so I could just grab any latop and use it when I had the time. I wasn't sure whether to tell my girlfriend, so I came out to a friend or two at a time just to test the waters a bit. At the time I was still mostly in the closet, so finding a message board so I could talk to people was a big deal to me. I guess I can say that was the start of my trying to be open about myself, or at least my realization that I wanted to be one day. I was confused as hell at the time about what was going on with me. I had purged my collection of clothes a few years before and only had one or two things left. I was way too scared to attempt to shop for anything on my own yet.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Dull Life

I finally went and turned in the food stamps application today. I was nervous as hell I was going to get questioned about my gender, but no one said anything about it to me. I did hear some laughing while I was waiting for them to make copies of everything, but I don't know what it was about. It went pretty well and I meet with someone on Friday for the interview. I'll probably get questioned about being TG then, I'm sure it's going to come up at some point. I don't know if I'm going to get this, but it's worth the effort to try. There isn't much else going on that's really worth talking about. I don't see my therapist until next Wednesday since she's on vacation, so the insurance stuff has to wait. I'll probably use some of my old posts like I did before in the meantime, or at least until something that's actually interesting happens.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Planning and Thinking

I've decided to hold off on trying to figure out the insurance stuff until next week. I want to talk to my therapist about things before I go trying to make appointments and saying I'm ready for surgery. I need her help regardless if I want my letter, so I think it's best to bring my grandparents in with me next time. They're the policy holders, so I need their help as well to get this done. It's not a sure thing whether this will work out or not, but I have to at least try. I'll be kicking myself later if I don't, the worst they can say is no. A friend of mine asked me last night if I was excited about it, but I can't say I'm excited yet. I'm nervous more than anything, because there is a good chance they're not going to cover it. For all I know I may be the first person to ever attempt to get this company to pay for SRS. They only deemed it medically necessary at the end of last month, so I may have a lot working against me. I'll be excited after they say yes they'll cover it for me.

This week is mostly going to be about getting the food stamps application process over with. I've got as much of the form filled out as I can interpret myself, parts of it I'm going to have to wait until I go back and ask them to help me with. Surgery won't come fast anyway, right now this is the more immediate need. I've waited 3 years so far for surgery, another week won't kill me. I'm not looking forward to having to out myself, but I don't have much of a choice if I want it to even have a chance of happening. For the first time earlier today the thought crossed my mind asking if I'm sure I'm really ready for surgery. I'm not holding my breath on it going through and happening, but I know I'm going to be a bit scared if it does. Once it's done it's done, I can't change my mind later. I know it's what I want, but I guess if I'm not having second thoughts I don't really know what I'm doing.

If full SRS can be taken care of and not still cost me a ton of money I'll go for that, if not I'll go for an orchiectomy. I need to do what my finances dictate right now. I'm worried about not being able to get SRS later if I have an orchi, but I think Dr. McGinn will still do it if you have one first. She does them for people that aren't able to get SRS for a while because of finances, so I'm assuming that means she will do it later. That's something I need to make a phone call to find out. I don't know where this is going to take me, all I know is I have to try. The worst that can happen is nothing, so I stand only to gain something by trying.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making Things Happen

I know I've been pretty quiet lately, and that's mostly because I'm trying to get a lot done. I finally went and picked up an application to get food stamps on Thursday, and I swear I think they gave me an outdated form or something. That already happened to me once when I was getting my name change paperwork; hickville's legal offices it seems aren't always quite up to date. Wouldn't you know it there's a spot to fill out sex on the damn application with only 2 choices, the classic obvious ones. The plus side is they ask you to actually write M or F, so I may have a creative solution. I'm going to put M legally, and F preferably. It's going to get me some odd looks and questions, but it's the truth, so they can't turn me down because of that. I'm dreading going back to the social services office. I got called ma'am when I was there the other day, I hate having to out myself for shit like this. If I don't they'll notice when they look at my ID and birth certificate, so I don't have much of a choice. The damn form doesn't even say if I need to make copies of the stuff they want to see from me or if I should bring it in and they'll check it all at the interview. The instructions are vague at best on this thing. I'm just filling it out like it asks and if they give me shit I'll point that out.

On top of that I found out that CIGNA health insurance has just decided to cover GRS. I decided to check out the insurance company that my family has me covered by just in case. I found out that within the last 2 weeks they had adopted pretty much the same policy. So right now I'm trying to find out whatever information about that I can come across. I freaked my grandparents out when I brought it up to them, but after some arguing and crying I think I have them willing to help me out. I need to get them to make a few phone calls just to see if the plan they have me under will do this.

I can only imagine what kind of co-pay I'd get stuck for with GRS, but luckily they cover an orchiectomy under that definition too. It's a lot less expensive, and if I'm lucky would only have to pay $500 out of a total $3500. I can afford that, especially if I can stop taking the T blockers and cut my estrogen dose in half after it. It's worth spending a good chunk of money to save in the long run. It's a much cheaper surgery, so I'm hoping that would make them more willing to approve me for it. I don't know what amount of luck I'm going to have with this, but I can't pass the chance up that it could work in my favor. I lose my insurance in 7 months when I turn 23, so it's a race against time to do this. I'm looking at every option I possibly can to make this happen by the end of the year, no insurance means no more therapy. I need to keep seeing my therapist if I want a letter for surgery, so that also is stressing me out. I just hope something works out for me, either insurance or hope that by some miracle I come by 3500 dollars before my birthday.

I'm disappointed in myself, I turned to smoking again today to relieve stress. I'll admit I only did that because I'm out of alcohol. I've got a bit of a history with both, so add that to the things I'm struggling with lately. I did only smoke about half of a swisher sweet, so I guess stopping myself at that point is a good thing on some level. I hope something works out for me soon, I really need this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Old Stuff (flashback)

I've decided to start posting some of my old journal entries. I'm starting with the very first one I ever made about being TG up until right before I started my blog. I had another blog at the time, so I'm copying and pasting a lot. I got the idea from Amy when I noticed her posting some of her old blogs. I had the idea a while back actually, I just never got around to doing it until now. Anyway, here's the very first journal entry I ever made about trying to figure things out.

April 26, 2006
"I'm very confused right now. I've been looking up stuff about crossdressing and I'm not sure what to do. Ever since I was like 7 I've been putting on girls clothes at every chance I get. Now if I open a checking account I can buy anything I want online. I want to get at least a couple things from a cool site I found. I'm just worried that I'm not making the right choice. I thought about getting the hormones from that site, but reading about what they do down there kind of makes me think twice about it. I read more on it and at least I know there are other people out there like me. If anything I know I can do it every so often. Some of the stuff on that site isn't too expensive, and I can afford it. I don't know, clothes if nothing else are a safe way to go with. I just don't know if I'm going to always feel like this or not. I love Angel, and I'm not sure what she would say about it if I ever tell her. I've just been getting urges to dress like that again. I'm not sure if it's just a fetish or something serious. I'd like to get a few things at least to play around with. I guess it's more of a fetish than any real reason to do anything drastic. Oh well I guess I'll just have to do what feels right and hope it all comes out ok. I guess at least it's a good thing to experiment a little."

I started out thinking that it was all just crossdressing, but even then I had the feeling that I may want to take it farther. I was worried above everything else at the time what my girlfriend would think. I had already been looking into things for a little while by the time I wrote this, so I had a good idea of what options were available to me. I wrote this in a notebook because I was still scared as hell about anyone finding out before I was ready. I had never told a single person about myself when I wrote this, aside from making mention to an ex that I had crossdressed a few times in the past. I've come a long way since I wrote this, and I'm still glad I chose the path I eventually did. I'm going to be posting these up every now and then and labeling them as flashback posts.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Searching for Opportunities

I know I haven't posted in a while, things have just been a little weird for me. I've been taking the progesterone that Megan had given me, and it's been about two weeks. That's really thrown my moods off lately, so I didn't want to make a bunch of depressing posts. I wanted to just go ahead and use the meds since I have them, no point in letting them sit and go bad. It's only a few months worth, but maybe it will help the boobs grow a bit more. They aren't kidding when they say depression is a side effect. I'm starting to do a little better now though, but I guess I'll have to put up with it for a while.

I also decided to make an attempt to apply for food stamps and see about getting into some kind of housing program. I found one called Virginia Supportive Housing that I could probably qualify for, but unfortunately they have no open spots. My therapist wants me to at least call back and leave a message to see if I can get a screening and see about getting on a waiting list or something. I hate going that route, but it's better than not even trying I guess. The food stamps I should easily be able to get, then if the housing thing works out I have food covered. I'm getting really restless about not having a job lately, so it's pushing me to keep looking for options.

I found a TG organization that can make small grants to TG people to help out with transition related expenses. They're only between $50 and $1400, but it's something. I sent an email in to see if I can get one to help me out with buying my hormones. It's only $22.99 a month for me, so it wouldn't have to be a huge grant. I'd be happy with enough to cover me for a year. I haven't heard anything back on that yet, but I'm hopeful about it. I definitely should qualify. I'm unemployed and living with family because I can't afford a place of my own, so I hope that's enough to get it for me.

I don't know what exactly to go about doing, I'm just looking at my options and trying to make something work. I have my doubts about finding a job in this town, there just aren't that many. I need to move to Richmond, even in a bad economy I have more job opportunities there than here in the middle of nowhere. I'm not sure where any of this will take me, but I guess I'll find out in the coming weeks.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Pictures

I randomly decided to go out today, even though it was cloudy, and see if I could get any decent pictures. Something must have been working for me, because I've added 6 new pictures to my portfolio just from what I took today. I'll post them up so you can see them.

Sage Fallon 10
I followed one of these little guys around until he finally landed next to another butterfly. It was kind of cute, they were both moving around each other and flapping their wings up and down. Looks like spring is in the air.

Sage Fallon 10
One of the butterflies flew off, but this one stuck around. I swear this is the most perfect looking shot of a butterfly I've ever gotten, and a black and blue one at that. I've been trying to get a shot this good of one with those colors for 2 years.

Sage Fallon 10
Amazingly when my batteries started dying, he or she, I'm not sure how to tell, let me pick him or her up. I couldn't believe it when I just nudged her with my finger and she climbed up on it. I held her like that for about 5 minutes until the batteries completely died. She would have stayed there longer if I hadn't shooed her off so I could go back inside and recharge my batteries.

Sage Fallon 10
These guys prove that spring is definitely in the air, they look like they're having fun. I caught them in the act! This is probably the only time a dragonfly is going to sit still long enough for me to get a decent picture of them. I ran into them before the butterflies actually, I just thought they looked cuter so I put them first. This is the first and only shot of a dragonfly I've ever gotten, and it has two at that. Not bad for a day.

Sage Fallon 10
Just when I thought I was done for the day, and already happy with my work, this cute little guy wandered into my backyard. He obviously belongs or belonged to someone else, because he let me pet him and kept following me around. He didn't have any collar and this was the second day in a row he's showed up.

Sage Fallon 10
This was one of my favorites of him. You never know, if he keeps coming around and no one is missing a cat I may have a new pet. He seemed to like me and was pretty playful, so I don't know. It was a pretty good day. Not a lot really happened, but I'm pleased with my photo work. I wasn't even expecting to get anything decent with it being overcast a good part of the day. I got lucky and some sun seemed like it came out at just the right time for me. Have I got good timing or what? I even got a few interesting looking cloud shots, but I'll save those for another day. I guess my persistence finally payed off.