I’m probably going to get a bit of shit from various people in my life over some of the things in this post. Probably deservedly.
Tale from a while ago- me and my (at the time) housemate were talking about gynecologist appointments, and specifically that she had never had a pap smear. We shall call her Housemate 1. Another housemate came in, and we shall call her housemate 2. Housemate 2 started giving 1 shit about being as old as we all were, and not ever getting a pap smear or any gynecologist appointments. She was talking about how even if 2 wasn’t sexually active yet, it is important to know health levels before getting involved with someone. 2 kept getting me and my sexual health knowledge on her side. Except 1 knew very well I have never had a pap smear.
I have never had a pap smear or seen a gynecologist.
Consider the quantity I talk about sexual health, many people are surprised by this.
This past week I went to my annual appointment to check in about testosterone and how my body is reacting. It was difficult enough for me to sit down and talk to an entirely new nurse practitioner about a bunch of stuff, and I do mean new NP as she was a student NP and working under people at my clinic. She brought up the pap smear, and later, when my doc walked in, he did to. Actually, when I emailed him about my most recent refill he said he wanted me in both for my annual check up and to talk to me about a pap smear.
I got an ultimatum. He said he would refill my T for the following year, to the day, with no problems. But no further. Push came to shove, if I don’t go through with it in the next year I either have to 1-find a new doc or 2- go off T.
Neither of these are really options for me. So, I’m going to suck it up and deal. Considering that I get STI testing on an annual basis, that I blog about sexuality all the time, that I talk about sexual health all the time, that I’ve been a peer sex educator, and everything else I do, it is rather surprising that this rather basic aspect of my health I neglect. Apparently, I come by it naturally. My mom’s gynecologist has to threaten her with no longer prescribing birth control to get my mom in for an appointment (as my mom has gone through menopause, to her this means getting cut off from hormones. We bonded over this.)
It isn’t actually a pressing issue in that I’m not what most people in the medical professions define as very “sexually active.” In medical terms, I don’t have penis-in-vagina sex. Of the types of sex I do have and enjoy, they haven’t happened all that often recently. For someone a sex blogger, I’ve had remarkably little sex recently. Then again, I’ve also blogged very little recently. One did not cause the other, more like they are two effects of similar causes, but I digress. I was talking about gynecological appointments and pap smears. Right.
I know the importance. I watched Buck Angel’s awesome “Public Cervix Announcement” last year when it popped up on YouTube. But it is damn hard to get me to set up an appointment for T, which I adore, let alone for shit I really REALLY don’t want to deal with. I’ve been without glasses for a year and a half because I’d need to set up an appointment to get a new prescription. How the hell am I supposed to deal with a pap smear?
My doctor is essentially blackmailing me. And he’s right.
It isn’t just things like body and gender dysphoria that keep me from dealing. That just makes it awkward. Beyond that, as much as I’ve dealt with shit regarding my past and sexual assault, a person I’m not involved with examining me triggers my anxiety. Thinking about it, gets me fidgeting. Talking about it, with my doctor, in a doctor’s office? I was twitchy, anxious, and unable to look at my doctor while talking in an attempt to keep my breathing regular and not deal with an anxiety attack.
In a bit over two months, I’m going to confront and deal. Maybe I’ll manage to stay calm. Maybe after I’ll need to go curl up in a small dark room, shaking, crying, and getting a migraine.
If he didn’t tell me he’d stop refilling my T I probably wouldn’t be dealing with having to get a pap. Even though the deadline is a year off the reality of the deadline spurs me to action. So, I’m dealing. And I have about two months to decide if I want him to get me a one or two pill script for anxiety meds. It says a lot that I am seriously considering it.
Yeah. For the first time ever I am seriously considering taking medication for what is technically a mental health issue (anxiety.) Time to deal with that thought as well.
S and I broke up. For a lot of reasons, I’m not going to go through the details on my blog. I’ll be writing of other things, but yeah that is a lot of why I haven’t written recently. There are a few things about it that I’ll write, or reference, but don’t expect too much.
I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting a mini skirt. I first voiced this out loud to some friends I was visiting over Halloween weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn one. But part of me really likes the idea, even though I usually hate wearing skirts of any kind, or shorts, because I hate my legs touching skin on skin.
T has been going. Acne is still a constant battle. The hardest part for me is remembering to stay hydrated. My skin always has broken out drastically less when I’m thoroughly hydrated, and when I actually get pretty dehydrated my acne gets a lot worse. So, I’m trying to remember to drink more water. My kidneys are probably thanking my skin for getting me to do this more.
My voice has leveled out. It doesn’t shock people every time I see them with how much deeper it has gotten, and I feel like even my grandmother has started to get used to the sound of my deeper voice. No more cracking (yay!) and it definitely passes. I like how I sound. I like that I haven’t changed speech patterns at all, just my vocal range has shifted downwards… but it also shrank. I have a lot less control over my tone of voice, which is to be expected seeing as I have little practice with my new range, but I also have a many fewer options of tone. I’m not just deeper, my range has actually shrunk which makes my range of expression different. I’m not intentionally more monotone, I just end up fading out a lot quicker.
Surprisingly, I really seem to like my newly coming in chest hair. Didn’t expect that. I was looking forward to darker and a lot more leg hair, and darkened arm hair. I’m still waiting for my facial hair to be something worth growing instead of just needing it shaved every few days. But chest hair? I mostly expected to feel neutral about it. Unexpectedly, I’m really liking it, and even looking forward to more. The genderfucker in me wants it darker and to wear my corset. Because honestly, I think it’d be damn hot.
I just started getting hungry again recently. After a few weeks of legitimately not being hungry and having to instill a pretty strict schedule to make sure I ate, I’m glad that it is back. It is strangely comforting, a sense of normalcy returning. Also, I just don’t like living that strictly to a schedule. I prefer being hungry all the time to messing up my schedule a bit and risk passing out from forgetting to eat.
I’ll be back to writing more often now.
The first time through puberty I got incredibly lucky. I had great skin, from day one through the bitchy days of middle school and the angst-ridden days of high school. Acne was never a major problem, except sometimes on the backs of my arms. But my face? I rarely got zits. My back, never. So here is a demonic duck to express my frustration.
I knew that acne would come with T. I knew that, I had been told that, and naively thought because I got so lucky the first time through that it would be the same this time. S and C are probably shaking their heads, laughing at me, because even though I have been dealing the worst acne of my life, it isn’t that bad. I haven’t felt the need to go to the dermatologist, so long as I scrub my face a few times a day with acne wash, and every other day with a deeper exfoliant.
No, the pet peeve are zits just inside my nostril. They hurt. Moreover, I have pretty terrible allergies, and so every time I blow my nose, it hurts even more.
It drives me crazy. It annoys me endlessly, or at least until it goes away again. I know I’m lucky, I’ve never needed Accutane, and I still barely get break outs on my back. My arms have also been calm this time through, so that’s better than last time. I know I’m lucky but it is still driving me crazy. Because it isn’t angering, it is incredibly annoying, constant, and every time one goes away, within a week another one appears at my nostrils. Recurring, highly frustrating… yup, pet peeve of T.
Generally speaking, acne also makes shaving a pain in the ass. Or perhaps more accurately it is a pain in the face, as it makes cutting so much more likely. Shaving is difficult enough, but adding painful bumps I have to dodge just makes it worse. At least I have some whiskers to shave, right? Still…