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Lucy Diamond 's Entries

204 blogs
  • 06 Jun 2007
    The Electric Kool-Aid Vaniqa TestI’ve been using Vaniqa now for 7 weeks, still too soon (hopefully) to see the full effects. The manufacturers say, "In as little as 4-6 weeks, you may find you're spending less time tweezing, waxing, shaving, bleaching, or using depilatories to manage your facial hair. That's how you'll know VANIQA is really working." I guess it’s working then…For the first two weeks I carried on shaving, stubble continued to return but noticeably slower than usual. Then I let it grow for a few days and plucked the whole lot, something I used to do quite regularly. The difference between plucking and shaving is amazing; even the closest shave can leave a little roughness especially under the chin and around the jawline, and most people find it’s impossible to lose their shadow altogether by shaving; dark hairs are still visible under the surface of the skin. Plucking eliminates all shadow and leaves your face feeling like any other woman’s for about a week. The problems I had doing this though were:When the hair starts coming through again, after a week or so, I got loads of spots and bumps as the hair pushed its way through the skin.At this point the hair would be about surface level, plenty of shadow, no chance of gripping the hairs with tweezers, not enough growth to even shave.Fortunately I don’t work full-time and got round this by timing my plucking sessions so I could leave the hairs to grow out for a few days before shaving again. I found it was better to shave for a few weeks before plucking the whole lot again.So, as I say I plucked after 2 weeks on Vaniqa, the shadow has not returned since. Hairs are still coming through, but extremely slowly, and not all at once. I spend about 20 minutes each day searching for hairs long enough to pluck. It’s a little frustrating because I can feel plenty of them, like pin pricks just sticking out through the skin, but too short to grip with tweezers. It’s nowhere near a full beard though, it doesn’t feel totally smooth but you couldn’t strike a match on it, and the main thing is you really can’t see any hairs. Most that are coming through are pale and fine. Hopefully they will continue to reduce to the point where I would be happy to let someone touch my face!We’re not there yet, but I haven’t needed to shave for over a month, which is great. Apart from saving a small fortune on Mach-3 blades, shaving never really worked for me. I was always left with little red dots, especially around my neck, and any raised pimples would unavoidably have their tops cut off. I’ve always had pretty bad skin since puberty, shaving was the bane of my life, and I pretty much tried everything, so please don’t bother sending in your shaving tips!I’m still getting the lumps as hairs push their way through, but not so many all at the same time. Presumably if the growth continues to slow, and the hairs get weaker I’ll get fewer lumps. A girl on one of my Yahoo groups sent me her "Vaniqa Log". So far I’d say my results are consistent with hers. She has seen continual, gradual improvement, and after about a year was having difficulty finding any loose hairs at all. Coincidentally one of my friends in Kendal started using Vaniqa on the same day as I did, but I have yet to compare notes with her.In conclusion I’d say so far so good. I may never need to shave again, but although growth is already manageable, I think it will take several more months before my complexion resembles that of a natal female.In the past I spent hundreds of pounds on Transformation’s magic cream to reduce facial hair. It doesn’t work. At all. You might as well smear custard on your face. Vaniqa is only prescribed for female hirsutism, so unless you’re a natal female I presume you’d have to be under the supervision of a gender specialist to get it. You can buy it online, but it’s very expensive.IPL and laser didn’t work for me, I got some effects but it was never going to clear my face altogether, and my final session left me with several small blisters. Electrolysis, even if I could have found a TS-experienced operator (essential!) around here, would definitely have caused my sensitive skin problems. Prescribed Vaniqa looks like it may be an affordable and viable solution to what I view as the biggest problem facing anyone in transition (cue scary music) - facial hair.If anyone else is using it, please drop me a line.Happy plucking, girls.xx
    430 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • The Electric Kool-Aid Vaniqa TestI’ve been using Vaniqa now for 7 weeks, still too soon (hopefully) to see the full effects. The manufacturers say, "In as little as 4-6 weeks, you may find you're spending less time tweezing, waxing, shaving, bleaching, or using depilatories to manage your facial hair. That's how you'll know VANIQA is really working." I guess it’s working then…For the first two weeks I carried on shaving, stubble continued to return but noticeably slower than usual. Then I let it grow for a few days and plucked the whole lot, something I used to do quite regularly. The difference between plucking and shaving is amazing; even the closest shave can leave a little roughness especially under the chin and around the jawline, and most people find it’s impossible to lose their shadow altogether by shaving; dark hairs are still visible under the surface of the skin. Plucking eliminates all shadow and leaves your face feeling like any other woman’s for about a week. The problems I had doing this though were:When the hair starts coming through again, after a week or so, I got loads of spots and bumps as the hair pushed its way through the skin.At this point the hair would be about surface level, plenty of shadow, no chance of gripping the hairs with tweezers, not enough growth to even shave.Fortunately I don’t work full-time and got round this by timing my plucking sessions so I could leave the hairs to grow out for a few days before shaving again. I found it was better to shave for a few weeks before plucking the whole lot again.So, as I say I plucked after 2 weeks on Vaniqa, the shadow has not returned since. Hairs are still coming through, but extremely slowly, and not all at once. I spend about 20 minutes each day searching for hairs long enough to pluck. It’s a little frustrating because I can feel plenty of them, like pin pricks just sticking out through the skin, but too short to grip with tweezers. It’s nowhere near a full beard though, it doesn’t feel totally smooth but you couldn’t strike a match on it, and the main thing is you really can’t see any hairs. Most that are coming through are pale and fine. Hopefully they will continue to reduce to the point where I would be happy to let someone touch my face!We’re not there yet, but I haven’t needed to shave for over a month, which is great. Apart from saving a small fortune on Mach-3 blades, shaving never really worked for me. I was always left with little red dots, especially around my neck, and any raised pimples would unavoidably have their tops cut off. I’ve always had pretty bad skin since puberty, shaving was the bane of my life, and I pretty much tried everything, so please don’t bother sending in your shaving tips!I’m still getting the lumps as hairs push their way through, but not so many all at the same time. Presumably if the growth continues to slow, and the hairs get weaker I’ll get fewer lumps. A girl on one of my Yahoo groups sent me her "Vaniqa Log". So far I’d say my results are consistent with hers. She has seen continual, gradual improvement, and after about a year was having difficulty finding any loose hairs at all. Coincidentally one of my friends in Kendal started using Vaniqa on the same day as I did, but I have yet to compare notes with her.In conclusion I’d say so far so good. I may never need to shave again, but although growth is already manageable, I think it will take several more months before my complexion resembles that of a natal female.In the past I spent hundreds of pounds on Transformation’s magic cream to reduce facial hair. It doesn’t work. At all. You might as well smear custard on your face. Vaniqa is only prescribed for female hirsutism, so unless you’re a natal female I presume you’d have to be under the supervision of a gender specialist to get it. You can buy it online, but it’s very expensive.IPL and laser didn’t work for me, I got some effects but it was never going to clear my face altogether, and my final session left me with several small blisters. Electrolysis, even if I could have found a TS-experienced operator (essential!) around here, would definitely have caused my sensitive skin problems. Prescribed Vaniqa looks like it may be an affordable and viable solution to what I view as the biggest problem facing anyone in transition (cue scary music) - facial hair.If anyone else is using it, please drop me a line.Happy plucking, girls.xx
    Jun 06, 2007 430
  • 14 May 2007
    DreamsNow here you go againYou say you want your freedomWell who am I to keep you downIts only right that you shouldPlay the way you feel it…So singeth Stevie Nicks in the song, "Dreams", from one of my favourite all-time albums – "Rumours".Robyn started a thread in the forums recently about recurring dreams. I posted a response about my recurring theme of a dream which I briefly mentioned I think in my first ever blog. The dreams I had as a very young child were so important to my self-discovery that I felt it appropriate to include the forum post in my blog. The dream, basically that I was, and had been born a girl was a pivotal moment in the realisation of my own identity. To have such an epiphany at so young an age went a long way towards the formation of my personality, and how I was later to deal with the ongoing internal struggle known as gender dysphoria. Indeed, for one’s life to "pivot" when it had really only just begun is significant, in fact remarkable to me; I never really felt male. I always knew my body wasn’t right, nor my role in society which in later years would be forced to manifest itself, one way or another.Armed with the knowledge of who I really was helped me get through life for many years without some of the turmoil perhaps that some of us go through. I just accepted it as part of me. Perhaps it would have been better if, instead of some strange sense of security about my own identity, I had become totally screwed up about it, and sought professional help many years ago. I’m not saying I was ever happy about being female in a male body, just that I accepted it, and tried to bumble along without it "getting to me". It did get to me though; all along it got to me in certain ways, but never sufficiently apocalyptic for me to change things. I got down, I got unhappy about this and that, looking the way I did, having to behave in certain ways, and so I got drunk, or generally tried to find some escape from the niggly little things that never went away. I’ve spent most of my life "going along with things", playing in bands because people asked me to, having friends because they were the people who happened to be around me, doing things that everyone else was doing… Never proactive; never doing what I wanted to do, just bumbling along.It’s that lack of positive direction that got me past 40 without, as a friend used to say, "doing something about myself". I regret being such a drifter, having such little purpose in life, though I am of course proud of what little achievements I have made, despite them being more or less stumbled upon, simply because I was just going along with other people at the time.Some say gender dysphoria intensifies with age, maybe we just realise we are getting old and we don’t want to spend the rest of our life in this state of limbo, secretive, unable to express our true selves in public, I’m not sure. But like many others I’d had enough. It wasn’t a sudden epiphany like my early childhood dreams, more a gradual one. Stepping out of the hotel in Edinburgh with Cathy that first time I was ever dressed in public felt like kind of an epiphany, but perhaps it was more of a catalyst; the beginning of a chain reaction of events that would eventually lead me to change my body and live my life the way I always felt I was supposed to. The way my childhood dream had showed me how I truly felt abut myself, all those many years ago.Here’s the forum post, for those who haven’t already read it:"Running away from something but going nowhere", or "being chased and struggling to get away" sort of dreams are said to represent anxiety or entrapment, so it’s no wonder TG people living in the "wrong" gender have these sort of dreams.I used to have sort of a recurring dream when I was young, in that it wasn’t the same dream, but I was always wearing the same skirt - short, green gingham. I can’t remember what I was wearing on top, so I suppose it might have been a dress. I think I started having these sort of dreams when I was 4 or 5 and they went on for 2 or 3 years, so long ago it’s hard to be sure. Apart from the gingham skirt, the recurring theme was that I was a girl, I’d always been a girl, everyone took that for granted, as they did with any other girl. They were normal dreams, not weird or nightmarish, I was just playing with the other kids in familiar surroundings like our back garden, school playground, just being myself. It felt so comfortable being myself, unlike in the real world, that I often tried to get back to sleep upon waking from this dream to get back to that place where everything felt right.I think this dream was kind of a revelation to me even at such an early age; the way I felt when I woke from it, realising that if I got up I’d have to put on my boy clothes and be… a boy. Ugh. I knew for sure I wanted to be a girl, and felt that something had gone wrong, but innocently assumed that somehow when I grew up nature would put it right. So I just went along with it, being happier in my dreams than I was in real life.The dreams showed me why I felt kind of awkward in real life. I was so young when I first had them that it was before I’d really given any thought to who I was, whether I was happy or not, whether I felt right as a boy or whatever. To me, this seems to reinforce, if not prove altogether, the theory that we are born TG. I was too young to give it any conscious thought, to even understand the implications, but my subconscious knew alright, my identity was there from the beginning, before I’d even had chance to think about it.I must have grown out of the cute little gingham skirt in my dreams; the dreams eventually stopped and I no longer had a place where I could find refuge. I often had the "being chased dream" after that. I always felt like I was trying to run in treacle, desperate to get away but only able to run in slow motion. I never even thought that meant anything, but if it signifies that I felt trapped, then it all makes sense. I couldn’t get away from my own body, or my gender role. Or so I thought…It may just be coincidence, but since I started to piece my jigsaw of a life together to make the picture on the front of the box, I haven’t had the "running away dream". I’m either female in my dreams now, or just not aware of what I’m wearing, perhaps it’s become irrelevant. The only times that I am vaguely male in my dreams is if I dream of a situation or a person that I haven’t yet come across since I transitioned, and that’s pretty rare.I think I was generally a bit of a dreamy kid, one teacher even commented on my daydreaming in an early school report, but you can’t blame me can you; dreamland was the only place I really felt comfortable! However, I no longer need to find solace in my dreams, and feel I can cope with the real world just fine.(Post ends)It’s no wonder that people like us get involved with drink or drugs, trying to avoid reality and re-live their childhood dreamlike state. But you can’t escape from reality, you just have to change it to suit you.More wise words from Stevie:"Thunder only happens when its raining…"So, control the weather, stop the rain, and you’ll no longer need to hide under that umbrella. If you don’t let it rain on you, the terrifying thunder will cease.Sweet dreams everyone.xx
    528 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • DreamsNow here you go againYou say you want your freedomWell who am I to keep you downIts only right that you shouldPlay the way you feel it…So singeth Stevie Nicks in the song, "Dreams", from one of my favourite all-time albums – "Rumours".Robyn started a thread in the forums recently about recurring dreams. I posted a response about my recurring theme of a dream which I briefly mentioned I think in my first ever blog. The dreams I had as a very young child were so important to my self-discovery that I felt it appropriate to include the forum post in my blog. The dream, basically that I was, and had been born a girl was a pivotal moment in the realisation of my own identity. To have such an epiphany at so young an age went a long way towards the formation of my personality, and how I was later to deal with the ongoing internal struggle known as gender dysphoria. Indeed, for one’s life to "pivot" when it had really only just begun is significant, in fact remarkable to me; I never really felt male. I always knew my body wasn’t right, nor my role in society which in later years would be forced to manifest itself, one way or another.Armed with the knowledge of who I really was helped me get through life for many years without some of the turmoil perhaps that some of us go through. I just accepted it as part of me. Perhaps it would have been better if, instead of some strange sense of security about my own identity, I had become totally screwed up about it, and sought professional help many years ago. I’m not saying I was ever happy about being female in a male body, just that I accepted it, and tried to bumble along without it "getting to me". It did get to me though; all along it got to me in certain ways, but never sufficiently apocalyptic for me to change things. I got down, I got unhappy about this and that, looking the way I did, having to behave in certain ways, and so I got drunk, or generally tried to find some escape from the niggly little things that never went away. I’ve spent most of my life "going along with things", playing in bands because people asked me to, having friends because they were the people who happened to be around me, doing things that everyone else was doing… Never proactive; never doing what I wanted to do, just bumbling along.It’s that lack of positive direction that got me past 40 without, as a friend used to say, "doing something about myself". I regret being such a drifter, having such little purpose in life, though I am of course proud of what little achievements I have made, despite them being more or less stumbled upon, simply because I was just going along with other people at the time.Some say gender dysphoria intensifies with age, maybe we just realise we are getting old and we don’t want to spend the rest of our life in this state of limbo, secretive, unable to express our true selves in public, I’m not sure. But like many others I’d had enough. It wasn’t a sudden epiphany like my early childhood dreams, more a gradual one. Stepping out of the hotel in Edinburgh with Cathy that first time I was ever dressed in public felt like kind of an epiphany, but perhaps it was more of a catalyst; the beginning of a chain reaction of events that would eventually lead me to change my body and live my life the way I always felt I was supposed to. The way my childhood dream had showed me how I truly felt abut myself, all those many years ago.Here’s the forum post, for those who haven’t already read it:"Running away from something but going nowhere", or "being chased and struggling to get away" sort of dreams are said to represent anxiety or entrapment, so it’s no wonder TG people living in the "wrong" gender have these sort of dreams.I used to have sort of a recurring dream when I was young, in that it wasn’t the same dream, but I was always wearing the same skirt - short, green gingham. I can’t remember what I was wearing on top, so I suppose it might have been a dress. I think I started having these sort of dreams when I was 4 or 5 and they went on for 2 or 3 years, so long ago it’s hard to be sure. Apart from the gingham skirt, the recurring theme was that I was a girl, I’d always been a girl, everyone took that for granted, as they did with any other girl. They were normal dreams, not weird or nightmarish, I was just playing with the other kids in familiar surroundings like our back garden, school playground, just being myself. It felt so comfortable being myself, unlike in the real world, that I often tried to get back to sleep upon waking from this dream to get back to that place where everything felt right.I think this dream was kind of a revelation to me even at such an early age; the way I felt when I woke from it, realising that if I got up I’d have to put on my boy clothes and be… a boy. Ugh. I knew for sure I wanted to be a girl, and felt that something had gone wrong, but innocently assumed that somehow when I grew up nature would put it right. So I just went along with it, being happier in my dreams than I was in real life.The dreams showed me why I felt kind of awkward in real life. I was so young when I first had them that it was before I’d really given any thought to who I was, whether I was happy or not, whether I felt right as a boy or whatever. To me, this seems to reinforce, if not prove altogether, the theory that we are born TG. I was too young to give it any conscious thought, to even understand the implications, but my subconscious knew alright, my identity was there from the beginning, before I’d even had chance to think about it.I must have grown out of the cute little gingham skirt in my dreams; the dreams eventually stopped and I no longer had a place where I could find refuge. I often had the "being chased dream" after that. I always felt like I was trying to run in treacle, desperate to get away but only able to run in slow motion. I never even thought that meant anything, but if it signifies that I felt trapped, then it all makes sense. I couldn’t get away from my own body, or my gender role. Or so I thought…It may just be coincidence, but since I started to piece my jigsaw of a life together to make the picture on the front of the box, I haven’t had the "running away dream". I’m either female in my dreams now, or just not aware of what I’m wearing, perhaps it’s become irrelevant. The only times that I am vaguely male in my dreams is if I dream of a situation or a person that I haven’t yet come across since I transitioned, and that’s pretty rare.I think I was generally a bit of a dreamy kid, one teacher even commented on my daydreaming in an early school report, but you can’t blame me can you; dreamland was the only place I really felt comfortable! However, I no longer need to find solace in my dreams, and feel I can cope with the real world just fine.(Post ends)It’s no wonder that people like us get involved with drink or drugs, trying to avoid reality and re-live their childhood dreamlike state. But you can’t escape from reality, you just have to change it to suit you.More wise words from Stevie:"Thunder only happens when its raining…"So, control the weather, stop the rain, and you’ll no longer need to hide under that umbrella. If you don’t let it rain on you, the terrifying thunder will cease.Sweet dreams everyone.xx
    May 14, 2007 528
  • 10 May 2007
    Deposit paid, flights booked, I’m on my way…You have to send payment in advance via bank transfer for Dr Suporn, so I did all that today. After filling in a lengthy form and waiting for it to be scrutinised I asked how much their charges were. Twenty quid they said. Bloody hell, it’s about 7 quid at the Thai end. "Gosh", I said."Well you could have done it by relay payment, that’s only a tenner and takes about one extra working day…"They could have given me that option to start with, but I wasn’t going to start filling out forms again. I’ll do it that way next time. Twenty quid though, bleedin’ daylight robbery if you ask me.A good friend of mum offered to donate his many thousands of air miles to the Lucy Diamond Surgery Trip Fund, which was very kind of him. He travels a lot on business so he really did have lots of air miles, so many in fact that we can afford to go Business Class. Luxury! Mum says she doesn’t want to travel with all the plebs anyway, but she’s not a snob really, she’s lovely. Anyway we shall get special treatment and our bags carried and loads of legroom, which will be much appreciated on a long haul flight, especially after major, major, surgery.I saw my friend Gillian last weekend on a night out with the girls, and asked her a few things about the Suporn experience, it’s good to know someone else who’s been, though I’ve actually met several "Supornistas" now. I need to get together with her again on our own so I can really pick her brains. She’s already showed me pics of her actual op in progress (not for the squeamish) and her "gift box" of stents and things, so I do know what to expect really, I just love fussing over little details, you know how it is. One of my other friends who was also there last weekend had her SRS with Phil Thomas (Brighton) in January, she’s had a couple of problems, which is not at all unusual considering what they do to you, but you know, she really should have gone to Suporn…!Anyway, I’d better not criticise other surgeons and their techniques before I’ve been through it myself.I am though, really looking forward to it!xx
    446 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Deposit paid, flights booked, I’m on my way…You have to send payment in advance via bank transfer for Dr Suporn, so I did all that today. After filling in a lengthy form and waiting for it to be scrutinised I asked how much their charges were. Twenty quid they said. Bloody hell, it’s about 7 quid at the Thai end. "Gosh", I said."Well you could have done it by relay payment, that’s only a tenner and takes about one extra working day…"They could have given me that option to start with, but I wasn’t going to start filling out forms again. I’ll do it that way next time. Twenty quid though, bleedin’ daylight robbery if you ask me.A good friend of mum offered to donate his many thousands of air miles to the Lucy Diamond Surgery Trip Fund, which was very kind of him. He travels a lot on business so he really did have lots of air miles, so many in fact that we can afford to go Business Class. Luxury! Mum says she doesn’t want to travel with all the plebs anyway, but she’s not a snob really, she’s lovely. Anyway we shall get special treatment and our bags carried and loads of legroom, which will be much appreciated on a long haul flight, especially after major, major, surgery.I saw my friend Gillian last weekend on a night out with the girls, and asked her a few things about the Suporn experience, it’s good to know someone else who’s been, though I’ve actually met several "Supornistas" now. I need to get together with her again on our own so I can really pick her brains. She’s already showed me pics of her actual op in progress (not for the squeamish) and her "gift box" of stents and things, so I do know what to expect really, I just love fussing over little details, you know how it is. One of my other friends who was also there last weekend had her SRS with Phil Thomas (Brighton) in January, she’s had a couple of problems, which is not at all unusual considering what they do to you, but you know, she really should have gone to Suporn…!Anyway, I’d better not criticise other surgeons and their techniques before I’ve been through it myself.I am though, really looking forward to it!xx
    May 10, 2007 446
  • 28 Apr 2007
    QuickieThe Suporn Clinic have emailed me back (on a Saturday!) and provisionally booked me in for the end of September. As long as I pay the deposit within 30 days, I have a date!Five months and counting…Woo-hoo!xx
    414 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • QuickieThe Suporn Clinic have emailed me back (on a Saturday!) and provisionally booked me in for the end of September. As long as I pay the deposit within 30 days, I have a date!Five months and counting…Woo-hoo!xx
    Apr 28, 2007 414
  • 25 Apr 2007
    Like waiting for a busYou wait ages for a blog then 3 come along at once…I emailed the Suporn clinic on Monday to enquire about available dates for my SRS and tracheal shave, still waiting for a reply but I understand it normally takes a few days. I kind of thought that if I started making enquiries in Thailand I might actually hear from Charing Cross about the trach shave consultation I had there a couple of months ago. Always seems to be the way with me, just like waiting for a bus…Sure enough this morning I got a date for the operation, in July. First I would have to go down for a "pre-admission assessment" in June. This is to check that I am medically fit for an anaesthetic and so on, presumably by being asked lots of questions and maybe having my blood pressure taken. If I didn’t have the option of doing the trach shave at the same time as my SRS I wouldn’t even be thinking about it; I would be cancelling gigs and booking trains and hotels right now. But I’m really unsure if having the trach shave on the NHS is such a good idea. I’ve been unable to find any reports or feedback from previous patients of the surgeon in question – Mr Sandhu. I’ve asked on my support groups and only had one reply from a "friend of a friend of a former patient" who thinks he’s not a particularly good surgeon and his results are often unsatisfactory. Not enough information on which to base my decision, but not a promising start. I shall do some more searching, but the more I think of it, the less inclined I am to put myself in the hands of an NHS surgeon, especially one who is seemingly so anonymous. It’s easy to find opinions on Dr Suporn, everyone thinks he’s wonderful. I’ve met in person at least 3 girls who’ve had SRS with him, and countless others on the internet, and seen one of his trach shaves too. No-one has a bad word to say about him. I don’t know about you but I personally, need that level of assurance if I’m getting to let someone take a scalpel to me! Anyone here ever heard of Mr Sandhu?He seemed nice enough when I met him, kind of reminded me of Art Malik in, um, Casualty/Holby City/ER… I dunno they’re all the same to me, I don’t do hospital drama. I did used to watch "Angels" when I was younger, but mainly because Gilly wrote some of the scripts (she’s a brilliant writer, her Eastenders episodes were the best ever). Anyway I digress, the surgeon being nice is not enough is it, or looking like a famous actor for that matter.So I may end up cancelling two NHS appointments, which a year or two ago would have seemed so precious to me. Plus, if I do get to Thailand when I want to I will have to cancel my next gender clinic appointment, which is not until October (for a second opinion on SRS, ironically). They’re probably not going to be very pleased with me, but then again will they actually notice, and am I even bovered? I’ve got my prescription now, and I’m only a couple of months and a couple of letters and a certain amount of red tape away from being legally female. I’ll try and keep them sweet until then.I don’t feel my legal status is pressingly urgent. I can’t imagine I’m going to be stressing about it whilst lying on my back dilating for 4 hours a day :)Oh the joys of contemplating surgery!xx
    438 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Like waiting for a busYou wait ages for a blog then 3 come along at once…I emailed the Suporn clinic on Monday to enquire about available dates for my SRS and tracheal shave, still waiting for a reply but I understand it normally takes a few days. I kind of thought that if I started making enquiries in Thailand I might actually hear from Charing Cross about the trach shave consultation I had there a couple of months ago. Always seems to be the way with me, just like waiting for a bus…Sure enough this morning I got a date for the operation, in July. First I would have to go down for a "pre-admission assessment" in June. This is to check that I am medically fit for an anaesthetic and so on, presumably by being asked lots of questions and maybe having my blood pressure taken. If I didn’t have the option of doing the trach shave at the same time as my SRS I wouldn’t even be thinking about it; I would be cancelling gigs and booking trains and hotels right now. But I’m really unsure if having the trach shave on the NHS is such a good idea. I’ve been unable to find any reports or feedback from previous patients of the surgeon in question – Mr Sandhu. I’ve asked on my support groups and only had one reply from a "friend of a friend of a former patient" who thinks he’s not a particularly good surgeon and his results are often unsatisfactory. Not enough information on which to base my decision, but not a promising start. I shall do some more searching, but the more I think of it, the less inclined I am to put myself in the hands of an NHS surgeon, especially one who is seemingly so anonymous. It’s easy to find opinions on Dr Suporn, everyone thinks he’s wonderful. I’ve met in person at least 3 girls who’ve had SRS with him, and countless others on the internet, and seen one of his trach shaves too. No-one has a bad word to say about him. I don’t know about you but I personally, need that level of assurance if I’m getting to let someone take a scalpel to me! Anyone here ever heard of Mr Sandhu?He seemed nice enough when I met him, kind of reminded me of Art Malik in, um, Casualty/Holby City/ER… I dunno they’re all the same to me, I don’t do hospital drama. I did used to watch "Angels" when I was younger, but mainly because Gilly wrote some of the scripts (she’s a brilliant writer, her Eastenders episodes were the best ever). Anyway I digress, the surgeon being nice is not enough is it, or looking like a famous actor for that matter.So I may end up cancelling two NHS appointments, which a year or two ago would have seemed so precious to me. Plus, if I do get to Thailand when I want to I will have to cancel my next gender clinic appointment, which is not until October (for a second opinion on SRS, ironically). They’re probably not going to be very pleased with me, but then again will they actually notice, and am I even bovered? I’ve got my prescription now, and I’m only a couple of months and a couple of letters and a certain amount of red tape away from being legally female. I’ll try and keep them sweet until then.I don’t feel my legal status is pressingly urgent. I can’t imagine I’m going to be stressing about it whilst lying on my back dilating for 4 hours a day :)Oh the joys of contemplating surgery!xx
    Apr 25, 2007 438
  • 23 Apr 2007
    Blood from a stoneWell I just rang the gender clinic again requesting copies of my last 2 blood test results. Usual response – "Oh we don’t normally send them to patients…"Each time I’ve had the tests though the consultants have promised that they would arrange for them to be sent to me, and if that didn’t happen then I could just get them off my GP. My GP hasn’t had the last two results either so I’m pretty stuck aren’t I.I explained once again that each of the consultants who’d seen me agreed to include me in receiving the results, and this time I have it in writing! In a report to my GP following my last meeting, Dr Lenihan specifically mentioned me getting the results (after I’d gone on at her for all the phone calls I’d made which were apparently ignored), so the secretary can have no excuses, and she’d better bloody well do what the doctor ordered. Of course it’s never that simple for her:"Lucy, can I ask you to put this in writing, it’s just I’ve got so much stuff on my desk that needs dealing with…"I don’t know why she couldn’t take the details and just do it there and then, now I guess she’ll have another thing on her desk that needs dealing with. She’s probably hoping that I can’t be bothered to write her a letter. Bless. She obviously doesn’t know me.The "too busy" excuse really annoys me; they always say that. They should realise that if they are too busy to actually deal with the patients there's not much point in their existence is there. Imagine travelling to the other end of the country to be measured up for a dress, the dressmaker orders the fabric, then when you ring up asking, "Where’s the dress you were supposed to be making…?" you get the reply, "Oh we don’t actually make the dresses, we have so many fittings to do, and then there’s the stocktaking, and the accounts, we’re far too busy to make any dresses."You’d be pretty pissed wouldn’t you?So anyway, I’ve done a brief and polite letter, if that doesn’t work she will get one of "my letters". I can do letters, I’m good at that. She won’t know what’s hit her.No bad reactions yet to the Vaniqa, which is good. My skin does seem to be quite sensitive, doesn’t even like moisturiser if it’s got perfume in it. E45 I can just about handle. I’ve been in touch with a girl on one of my support sites who has been using Vaniqa for years and for her it has worked brilliantly. It’ll probably take a couple of months to see any results so I’ll be keeping my fingers tightly crossed, except when I’m actually applying the cream, that would just be silly.The band have a gig this Saturday after a 4 week break, so I’d better go and do some practice. Anything more than a week without playing and I get really rusty.Oh and I have my second voice therapy session tomorrow, so I shall be talking to myself whilst practising on the keyboard. At the first session we just did breathing and relaxation stuff, so I’m hoping this time she might actually teach me how to speak. Can’t do everything via letters can I!xx
    452 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Blood from a stoneWell I just rang the gender clinic again requesting copies of my last 2 blood test results. Usual response – "Oh we don’t normally send them to patients…"Each time I’ve had the tests though the consultants have promised that they would arrange for them to be sent to me, and if that didn’t happen then I could just get them off my GP. My GP hasn’t had the last two results either so I’m pretty stuck aren’t I.I explained once again that each of the consultants who’d seen me agreed to include me in receiving the results, and this time I have it in writing! In a report to my GP following my last meeting, Dr Lenihan specifically mentioned me getting the results (after I’d gone on at her for all the phone calls I’d made which were apparently ignored), so the secretary can have no excuses, and she’d better bloody well do what the doctor ordered. Of course it’s never that simple for her:"Lucy, can I ask you to put this in writing, it’s just I’ve got so much stuff on my desk that needs dealing with…"I don’t know why she couldn’t take the details and just do it there and then, now I guess she’ll have another thing on her desk that needs dealing with. She’s probably hoping that I can’t be bothered to write her a letter. Bless. She obviously doesn’t know me.The "too busy" excuse really annoys me; they always say that. They should realise that if they are too busy to actually deal with the patients there's not much point in their existence is there. Imagine travelling to the other end of the country to be measured up for a dress, the dressmaker orders the fabric, then when you ring up asking, "Where’s the dress you were supposed to be making…?" you get the reply, "Oh we don’t actually make the dresses, we have so many fittings to do, and then there’s the stocktaking, and the accounts, we’re far too busy to make any dresses."You’d be pretty pissed wouldn’t you?So anyway, I’ve done a brief and polite letter, if that doesn’t work she will get one of "my letters". I can do letters, I’m good at that. She won’t know what’s hit her.No bad reactions yet to the Vaniqa, which is good. My skin does seem to be quite sensitive, doesn’t even like moisturiser if it’s got perfume in it. E45 I can just about handle. I’ve been in touch with a girl on one of my support sites who has been using Vaniqa for years and for her it has worked brilliantly. It’ll probably take a couple of months to see any results so I’ll be keeping my fingers tightly crossed, except when I’m actually applying the cream, that would just be silly.The band have a gig this Saturday after a 4 week break, so I’d better go and do some practice. Anything more than a week without playing and I get really rusty.Oh and I have my second voice therapy session tomorrow, so I shall be talking to myself whilst practising on the keyboard. At the first session we just did breathing and relaxation stuff, so I’m hoping this time she might actually teach me how to speak. Can’t do everything via letters can I!xx
    Apr 23, 2007 452
  • 21 Apr 2007
    Shaping upI bought some pistachio nuts the other day, on the back of the packet it said, "Allergy advice – may contain traces of nuts". Well, Duhh. They’re nuts for Christ’s sake. You couldn’t make it up…My mum and her old mate, Gilly came over for dinner last night. We all got far too drunk of course, but it was nice to have the girls round, something I ought to do more often. Lovely to see you again, Gilly. I’m sorry I plied you with so much wine.It’s been a while since I blogged, sorry blog for neglecting you, but I’ve generally just been plodding on, doing what I do, with no major developments. Yesterday though, I had a very productive meeting with my GP. After finally getting approval from Charing Cross to go on Finasteride and Vaniqa, I finally managed to get an appointment with my busy GP to get the prescription. I’d waited for ages to get the blood test results CX promised me, I never got them so I gave up waiting. Turns out my GP never got them either, tsk. However, CX have actually upped my recommended dosage of estradiol tablets, quite a surprise, but a very pleasing one. They’re still not keen on me using the Oestrogel, but my GP is perfectly happy to prescribe it; I’ve even managed to get him to put 3 tubes onto one prescription. 3 tubes would have cost me nearly 60 quid at internet prices, it’s now £6.85. I also get 168 tablets on one prescription, so it’s certainly saving me money by going down the CX route. Anyway, after some gentle persuasion I managed to get him to prescribe me the Finasteride, he said he had to do it on a private prescription as the NHS are only allowed to prescribe it if it’s to be used for reducing an enlarged prostrate. In the end, the chemist charged me the standard NHS fee anyway so I don’t know what all the fuss was about. He got the letter from CX up on his screen and said although they’d approved Vaniqa, he’d never heard of it and it wasn’t coming up on his list of prescribable drugs so he really couldn’t help me. This was devastating and my heart sank. After spending 1700 quid or so on IPL and laser, and being left with several small scars where the laser burnt me, but achieving little actual hair reduction I was desperate to get this cream, which is supposed to slow the hair growth to a virtual standstill. I KNOW it’s available on the NHS, so I couldn’t just quietly accept what he was saying. He was adamant that he couldn’t prescribe something that apparently did not exist. What the hell’s going on I thought. Why are CX recommending Finasteride when my GP thinks he’s "technically" not supposed to prescribe it for my purposes, and why are they recommending Vaniqa if it’s not on doctors’ systems. And then it clicked. I remembered the copy of the same letter I’d got some time ago. More evidence of the incompetence of the secretary there: "Vaniga" she’d put, and later in the same letter "Vaneka". If my GP hadn’t heard of it how would he know that -"Oh they spelt it wrong in their letter""Ah. How are you spelling it then?""V - A – N – I – Q – A""Ah. There it is…."And there it was. "Vaniqa, eflornithine cream, for treatment of female hirsutism" it said on his screen."Oh, it’s indicated for what you want it for…"He seemed a little surprised at that, but was immediately happy to let me give it a go; 2 tubes on one prescription. Hopefully he will up that amount next time. It’s something I’ll have to use forever, if indeed it works. Sounds like a nuisance, but no worse than using moisturiser twice a day. Hopefully only once a day after a few months. I just know that I would have problems with electrolysis, my skin is so delicate, so I’ve avoided that so far, If the cream doesn’t work that may be my last resort, but I’m optimistic about the Vaniqa, so watch this space.So armed with 3 prescriptions I came out of the chemist with a small sack of goodies, and couldn’t wait to try the cream. I’m now completely happy with my prescribed hormone regime. It was a good feeling having all those magic potions in one bag! Gilly, by the way, was telling me last night that she swears by her HRT. I couldn’t agree more!It’s a couple of months since my NHS consultation for the trach shave and I haven’t heard anything yet. I’ve pretty much decided not to bother with them, and instead will let Dr Suporn do it at the same time as my SRS, just as my friend Gillian did in October. She seems happy, the remaining small lump on her neck would be acceptable to me, and the NHS guy pretty much guaranteed that he would also leave a lump, and a bigger scar by the sound of it. So why wait? It’s a rhetorical question, since I really can’t find a sensible answer. So, the booking of my SRS is imminent, I will be emailing the clinic in a matter of days. Can’t wait…The band have found a temporary replacement for me while I’m away and for the few months while I’m recuperating. I do hope he’s not too good. When I’m fit enough to be out and about though, I shall very much enjoy going to see them play, see how they look from the other side of the stage.All in all, things really seem to be taking shape.xx
    568 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Shaping upI bought some pistachio nuts the other day, on the back of the packet it said, "Allergy advice – may contain traces of nuts". Well, Duhh. They’re nuts for Christ’s sake. You couldn’t make it up…My mum and her old mate, Gilly came over for dinner last night. We all got far too drunk of course, but it was nice to have the girls round, something I ought to do more often. Lovely to see you again, Gilly. I’m sorry I plied you with so much wine.It’s been a while since I blogged, sorry blog for neglecting you, but I’ve generally just been plodding on, doing what I do, with no major developments. Yesterday though, I had a very productive meeting with my GP. After finally getting approval from Charing Cross to go on Finasteride and Vaniqa, I finally managed to get an appointment with my busy GP to get the prescription. I’d waited for ages to get the blood test results CX promised me, I never got them so I gave up waiting. Turns out my GP never got them either, tsk. However, CX have actually upped my recommended dosage of estradiol tablets, quite a surprise, but a very pleasing one. They’re still not keen on me using the Oestrogel, but my GP is perfectly happy to prescribe it; I’ve even managed to get him to put 3 tubes onto one prescription. 3 tubes would have cost me nearly 60 quid at internet prices, it’s now £6.85. I also get 168 tablets on one prescription, so it’s certainly saving me money by going down the CX route. Anyway, after some gentle persuasion I managed to get him to prescribe me the Finasteride, he said he had to do it on a private prescription as the NHS are only allowed to prescribe it if it’s to be used for reducing an enlarged prostrate. In the end, the chemist charged me the standard NHS fee anyway so I don’t know what all the fuss was about. He got the letter from CX up on his screen and said although they’d approved Vaniqa, he’d never heard of it and it wasn’t coming up on his list of prescribable drugs so he really couldn’t help me. This was devastating and my heart sank. After spending 1700 quid or so on IPL and laser, and being left with several small scars where the laser burnt me, but achieving little actual hair reduction I was desperate to get this cream, which is supposed to slow the hair growth to a virtual standstill. I KNOW it’s available on the NHS, so I couldn’t just quietly accept what he was saying. He was adamant that he couldn’t prescribe something that apparently did not exist. What the hell’s going on I thought. Why are CX recommending Finasteride when my GP thinks he’s "technically" not supposed to prescribe it for my purposes, and why are they recommending Vaniqa if it’s not on doctors’ systems. And then it clicked. I remembered the copy of the same letter I’d got some time ago. More evidence of the incompetence of the secretary there: "Vaniga" she’d put, and later in the same letter "Vaneka". If my GP hadn’t heard of it how would he know that -"Oh they spelt it wrong in their letter""Ah. How are you spelling it then?""V - A – N – I – Q – A""Ah. There it is…."And there it was. "Vaniqa, eflornithine cream, for treatment of female hirsutism" it said on his screen."Oh, it’s indicated for what you want it for…"He seemed a little surprised at that, but was immediately happy to let me give it a go; 2 tubes on one prescription. Hopefully he will up that amount next time. It’s something I’ll have to use forever, if indeed it works. Sounds like a nuisance, but no worse than using moisturiser twice a day. Hopefully only once a day after a few months. I just know that I would have problems with electrolysis, my skin is so delicate, so I’ve avoided that so far, If the cream doesn’t work that may be my last resort, but I’m optimistic about the Vaniqa, so watch this space.So armed with 3 prescriptions I came out of the chemist with a small sack of goodies, and couldn’t wait to try the cream. I’m now completely happy with my prescribed hormone regime. It was a good feeling having all those magic potions in one bag! Gilly, by the way, was telling me last night that she swears by her HRT. I couldn’t agree more!It’s a couple of months since my NHS consultation for the trach shave and I haven’t heard anything yet. I’ve pretty much decided not to bother with them, and instead will let Dr Suporn do it at the same time as my SRS, just as my friend Gillian did in October. She seems happy, the remaining small lump on her neck would be acceptable to me, and the NHS guy pretty much guaranteed that he would also leave a lump, and a bigger scar by the sound of it. So why wait? It’s a rhetorical question, since I really can’t find a sensible answer. So, the booking of my SRS is imminent, I will be emailing the clinic in a matter of days. Can’t wait…The band have found a temporary replacement for me while I’m away and for the few months while I’m recuperating. I do hope he’s not too good. When I’m fit enough to be out and about though, I shall very much enjoy going to see them play, see how they look from the other side of the stage.All in all, things really seem to be taking shape.xx
    Apr 21, 2007 568
  • 25 Feb 2007
    There, but for the grace of the goddess, go IThe day after getting back from London I turn on the news to hear of a serious rail crash, amazingly it’s about a mile from where I live, as the crow flies. Had I stayed in London another day I would probably have been on the train behind the one that crashed, and would have been held up for hours in the ensuing chaos. It could have been worse. I could have been on that train and getting off at the next stop…Trains being derailed at 95mph is pretty shocking stuff, even more so when it’s just up the road and you were travelling on that line the day before. Last night the rescue helicopters were buzzing overhead all night, searchlights lighting up the scene, occasionally whizzing off into the distance, presumably carrying away the injured.This doesn’t happen in Grayrigg. Actually it’s not really Grayrigg as reported in the media, but in Docker, a few miles from Grayrigg. These things make a difference when you live here you know. Grayrigg has perhaps a couple of hundred inhabitants, Docker has a population of about twelve, I guess. Anyway it’s literally just up the road. This doesn’t happen here…So, I’m just glad to be home safe and sound. Actually the trip to London this time was pretty good. In fact it’s been great fun. My consultation for the tracheal shave went as expected. They can do it, there will still be a slight lump left (unable to quantify exactly how slight), there is a 4 – 6 month waiting list which I’m now on, and they offered me the option of voice surgery; a couple of sutures to basically tighten up the vocal cords, with a 70% success rate. I have time to think about that, it only adds 10 or 15 minutes to the operation time, but I doubt if I’ll go for it. Still, I’m keeping an open mind, and will look into it further.The long waiting list time could delay my SRS which I’d hoped to have no later than autumn this year, or I could go ahead and book it anyway and see what happens, or I could have the trach shave done privately, including the possibility of having it at the same time as SRS, which is what my friend Gillian did. Hers has come out very well, what lump is left is virtually unnoticeable, the scar has healed well and her voice hasn’t been affected, which is one of the associated risks with this procedure, unlikely though with a competent surgeon. I have yet to decide which route to go, but am not going to rush into any decisions.The day after my consultation I had my regular 3 monthly appointment at the gender clinic, a fairly pointless affair from my point of view, but that’s their requirement so it has to be done. Next appointment should see a second opinion on SRS and therefore eligibility for a referral (not that I’ll need it if I go to Dr Suporn). Plus I will have been full time for 2 years and can then apply for my Gender Recognition Certificate – legal status as female, and new birth certificate. Woo-hoo!So that was the business out of the way. My consultation was early morning so I had the whole day and evening to myself in the Big Smoke. What to do with myself...?I decided to do what I do best and go shopping, but where? I chose shopping Mecca and hippie paradise - Camden Town. Good choice. Bloody good choice.The weather forecast was bad and it was midweek, I thought it was going to be a bit of a washout, but the forecast was totally wrong; it was warm, sunny, glorious, and the shopping was AWESOME! I went to Camden many years ago and didn’t think much of it. Perhaps I didn’t find all it had to offer, perhaps it was because I was with a girlfriend and couldn’t actually buy any of the lovely clothes for myself, but this time I loved the place. Groovy music everywhere, retro shops and stalls, food from all over the world, new and second-hand clothes, bargains galore. Fanbloodytastic. I spent quite a lot of money, and came back laden with bags full of goodies, loads of stuff. What a day! Super.The next day I had to check out of the hotel in the morning and had several hours to kill before my appointment at the clinic, so, determined not to spend any more money I went to Harrods, just to look mind. Intriguing to see how the other half live, but just too bloody expensive. There was a guitar exhibition on there too, which was more interesting than it sounds so it turned out to be not a bad way to spend the afternoon. No way was I going to spend anything at Mr Al Fayed’s establishment though. Fish and chips there was £17.50. I’m sure not many people go to Harrods to eat fish and chips, but that’s an indicator of the priceyness of the place. It’d cost you about 3 quid in Kendal.I went across the road for lunch (I quite fancied fish and chips actually but Mr Al Fayed can jolly well bugger off if he’s asking those prices), instead I found a cool place that prepared only healthy stuff, and I had a large super-food salad, including my first taste of the new 'big thing' – Edamame beans (soy beans in their pods) very nice too.The hotel I stayed in this time was much better than on previous trips; clean, quieter, and a comfy double bed with lovely brass headstead (think "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"). The better hotel really helped make the trip more relaxing, as did the smooth journey each way. I guess I was lucky there.It was a really good trip, but it’s nice to be home, in one piece.xx
    437 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • There, but for the grace of the goddess, go IThe day after getting back from London I turn on the news to hear of a serious rail crash, amazingly it’s about a mile from where I live, as the crow flies. Had I stayed in London another day I would probably have been on the train behind the one that crashed, and would have been held up for hours in the ensuing chaos. It could have been worse. I could have been on that train and getting off at the next stop…Trains being derailed at 95mph is pretty shocking stuff, even more so when it’s just up the road and you were travelling on that line the day before. Last night the rescue helicopters were buzzing overhead all night, searchlights lighting up the scene, occasionally whizzing off into the distance, presumably carrying away the injured.This doesn’t happen in Grayrigg. Actually it’s not really Grayrigg as reported in the media, but in Docker, a few miles from Grayrigg. These things make a difference when you live here you know. Grayrigg has perhaps a couple of hundred inhabitants, Docker has a population of about twelve, I guess. Anyway it’s literally just up the road. This doesn’t happen here…So, I’m just glad to be home safe and sound. Actually the trip to London this time was pretty good. In fact it’s been great fun. My consultation for the tracheal shave went as expected. They can do it, there will still be a slight lump left (unable to quantify exactly how slight), there is a 4 – 6 month waiting list which I’m now on, and they offered me the option of voice surgery; a couple of sutures to basically tighten up the vocal cords, with a 70% success rate. I have time to think about that, it only adds 10 or 15 minutes to the operation time, but I doubt if I’ll go for it. Still, I’m keeping an open mind, and will look into it further.The long waiting list time could delay my SRS which I’d hoped to have no later than autumn this year, or I could go ahead and book it anyway and see what happens, or I could have the trach shave done privately, including the possibility of having it at the same time as SRS, which is what my friend Gillian did. Hers has come out very well, what lump is left is virtually unnoticeable, the scar has healed well and her voice hasn’t been affected, which is one of the associated risks with this procedure, unlikely though with a competent surgeon. I have yet to decide which route to go, but am not going to rush into any decisions.The day after my consultation I had my regular 3 monthly appointment at the gender clinic, a fairly pointless affair from my point of view, but that’s their requirement so it has to be done. Next appointment should see a second opinion on SRS and therefore eligibility for a referral (not that I’ll need it if I go to Dr Suporn). Plus I will have been full time for 2 years and can then apply for my Gender Recognition Certificate – legal status as female, and new birth certificate. Woo-hoo!So that was the business out of the way. My consultation was early morning so I had the whole day and evening to myself in the Big Smoke. What to do with myself...?I decided to do what I do best and go shopping, but where? I chose shopping Mecca and hippie paradise - Camden Town. Good choice. Bloody good choice.The weather forecast was bad and it was midweek, I thought it was going to be a bit of a washout, but the forecast was totally wrong; it was warm, sunny, glorious, and the shopping was AWESOME! I went to Camden many years ago and didn’t think much of it. Perhaps I didn’t find all it had to offer, perhaps it was because I was with a girlfriend and couldn’t actually buy any of the lovely clothes for myself, but this time I loved the place. Groovy music everywhere, retro shops and stalls, food from all over the world, new and second-hand clothes, bargains galore. Fanbloodytastic. I spent quite a lot of money, and came back laden with bags full of goodies, loads of stuff. What a day! Super.The next day I had to check out of the hotel in the morning and had several hours to kill before my appointment at the clinic, so, determined not to spend any more money I went to Harrods, just to look mind. Intriguing to see how the other half live, but just too bloody expensive. There was a guitar exhibition on there too, which was more interesting than it sounds so it turned out to be not a bad way to spend the afternoon. No way was I going to spend anything at Mr Al Fayed’s establishment though. Fish and chips there was £17.50. I’m sure not many people go to Harrods to eat fish and chips, but that’s an indicator of the priceyness of the place. It’d cost you about 3 quid in Kendal.I went across the road for lunch (I quite fancied fish and chips actually but Mr Al Fayed can jolly well bugger off if he’s asking those prices), instead I found a cool place that prepared only healthy stuff, and I had a large super-food salad, including my first taste of the new 'big thing' – Edamame beans (soy beans in their pods) very nice too.The hotel I stayed in this time was much better than on previous trips; clean, quieter, and a comfy double bed with lovely brass headstead (think "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"). The better hotel really helped make the trip more relaxing, as did the smooth journey each way. I guess I was lucky there.It was a really good trip, but it’s nice to be home, in one piece.xx
    Feb 25, 2007 437
  • 17 Jan 2007
    New year, new me (or: It’s the end of the world as we know it)The Christmas and New Year celebrations continued to overrun as Pip paid me a visit, and we spent the weekend eating, drinking and being merry, like you do. Lovely to see him again, and Pippa actually, for the first time in quite a while in all her finery.Now I really must stop drinking. And eating. Maybe being merry is acceptable.Our first gig after the Christmas break is on Friday, a private do for some very rich people, so no doubt the champagne will be flowing, but I’ll be driving so that will keep me under control, instead of under the table. I really must brush up on some songs.I’ve chased up Charing Cross for the results of my blood test in November, and for the report to my GP (both of which they promised to send me), so I know whether it’s worth going to see him; I’m hoping to give Vaniqa cream a try, as an alternative to laser and electrolysis. If it works I’ll be using it forever, which sounds a nuisance, but my skin obviously doesn’t like being zapped, so it’s got to be worth a try. I have heard some good things about it, though haven’t heard of that many TS’s using it. It is a relatively new product though.I didn’t need to chase up Charing Cross for the trach shave consultation though; they sent me a letter asking me to make an outpatient appointment in Genital Reconstruction, which I thought was odd as I have only had one out of two "opinions" before I would get my referral for that, and I’ve told them I will be doing it privately anyway. So I rang the gender clinic to check and they said I had indeed been referred to ENT and I should ignore the minor discrepancy on my letter. So I rang the hospital and despite the letter saying my appointment would likely be in about 10 weeks time, they gave me an appointment in exactly 5 weeks time, not too bad at all. I know I’ve complained about them being slow in the past but I must say that overall there have been no major delays, and they seem to be waving me through the system without any difficulty. So far…I just need to make a decision on the trach shave so I can plan recovery time and book my SRS accordingly. See what Mr ENT says about the ugly lump on my neck, I hope he can do a good job. Anyone been to Mr Sandhu?It may still be winter and SRS will not be at least until the autumn but it is all starting to feel closer, like it’s really going to happen. Having spent 40 years or so feeling it’s something I could only dream about, it’s kind of a weird feeling. Cool, but weird.Did I say it’s winter? (English person’s speech approaching…) God is it winter. Hasn’t been that cold of late but blimey it’s been blustery, seemingly for weeks now. I got up the other day about 9am and looked out of my window, the winds were apparently 70 – 80 mph that day, it was raining and hailing at the same time, the hail sounded like machine guns on my window, it was moving sideways in huge waves obliterating the view of the mountains in the not too far distance. It looked like a nuclear winter; the end of the world. I went straight back to bed and curled up into a cosy little ball.And this weekend they forecast it finally getting appropriately cold for the time of year; cold, wet, snow… God, is it winter.I’m so looking forward to Thailand, on so many levels!xx
    417 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • New year, new me (or: It’s the end of the world as we know it)The Christmas and New Year celebrations continued to overrun as Pip paid me a visit, and we spent the weekend eating, drinking and being merry, like you do. Lovely to see him again, and Pippa actually, for the first time in quite a while in all her finery.Now I really must stop drinking. And eating. Maybe being merry is acceptable.Our first gig after the Christmas break is on Friday, a private do for some very rich people, so no doubt the champagne will be flowing, but I’ll be driving so that will keep me under control, instead of under the table. I really must brush up on some songs.I’ve chased up Charing Cross for the results of my blood test in November, and for the report to my GP (both of which they promised to send me), so I know whether it’s worth going to see him; I’m hoping to give Vaniqa cream a try, as an alternative to laser and electrolysis. If it works I’ll be using it forever, which sounds a nuisance, but my skin obviously doesn’t like being zapped, so it’s got to be worth a try. I have heard some good things about it, though haven’t heard of that many TS’s using it. It is a relatively new product though.I didn’t need to chase up Charing Cross for the trach shave consultation though; they sent me a letter asking me to make an outpatient appointment in Genital Reconstruction, which I thought was odd as I have only had one out of two "opinions" before I would get my referral for that, and I’ve told them I will be doing it privately anyway. So I rang the gender clinic to check and they said I had indeed been referred to ENT and I should ignore the minor discrepancy on my letter. So I rang the hospital and despite the letter saying my appointment would likely be in about 10 weeks time, they gave me an appointment in exactly 5 weeks time, not too bad at all. I know I’ve complained about them being slow in the past but I must say that overall there have been no major delays, and they seem to be waving me through the system without any difficulty. So far…I just need to make a decision on the trach shave so I can plan recovery time and book my SRS accordingly. See what Mr ENT says about the ugly lump on my neck, I hope he can do a good job. Anyone been to Mr Sandhu?It may still be winter and SRS will not be at least until the autumn but it is all starting to feel closer, like it’s really going to happen. Having spent 40 years or so feeling it’s something I could only dream about, it’s kind of a weird feeling. Cool, but weird.Did I say it’s winter? (English person’s speech approaching…) God is it winter. Hasn’t been that cold of late but blimey it’s been blustery, seemingly for weeks now. I got up the other day about 9am and looked out of my window, the winds were apparently 70 – 80 mph that day, it was raining and hailing at the same time, the hail sounded like machine guns on my window, it was moving sideways in huge waves obliterating the view of the mountains in the not too far distance. It looked like a nuclear winter; the end of the world. I went straight back to bed and curled up into a cosy little ball.And this weekend they forecast it finally getting appropriately cold for the time of year; cold, wet, snow… God, is it winter.I’m so looking forward to Thailand, on so many levels!xx
    Jan 17, 2007 417
  • 05 Jan 2007
    Party, Party, Party!2007 is upon us. Just in case you hadn’t noticed…It’s been a fairly busy Christmas period for me, lots of parties and meals out and turkey and pudding and wine and general revelry, with a few gigs thrown in for good measure. I have another party to go to tomorrow night (oh god, another one?!) at which I expect there to be lots of old faces, many of whom will never have met Lucy, which sounds kind of weird now after so long living full-time. But this is the party of an old friend, who knows just about everyone in town, so after this there can’t possibly be many people left who have yet to meet Lucy, can there…?My friend from Kendal, Stephie, had her SRS in Brighton on the 2nd January with Phil Thomas, which makes me the only pre-op in our gang now, not that I’m bovered. I’m not in any great rush, but I am certainly ready for it. 2007 will be the year, probably late summer/early autumn. I just hope there are no more military coups and what-nots in Thailand before then. Mind you it didn’t affect Gillian’s trip, who flew out exactly one week after the last coup. I’m certain Dr Suporn is the surgeon for me, I’d be most upset if anything untoward happened before I got there.Of course we gave Stephie the obligatory send off with a meal out and drinkies afterwards, which was a great night. I still get some strange perverted enjoyment out of being in a gang of 6 transsexuals taking over the town. I’m sure all of us blend in reasonably well, but put us all together and you can’t really miss us! Anyway I had a text from her and she says it has gone fine, didn’t hurt a bit. It will Stephie, it will, soon as the morphine wears off.I guess until it’s my turn I will just be biding my time. The band is going great so that keeps me occupied, we’re even hoping to have a go at writing/recording some original material soon, just as a sideline, just for fun.Quite surprisingly I got a Christmas card from my dad this year, even more surprisingly it had a cheque in it! Still haven’t spoken to him for over a year, and he hasn’t responded to the mail I sent to thank him, but it’s a start. At least he somehow acknowledges my existence. He couldn’t bring himself to write my name though, had to get his wife to do that on both the cheque and the envelope, but he did manage to write the words "Merry Christmas". I suspect he was somewhat nagged into it, but I was still pleasantly surprised. I’d got him a nice bottle of Gevrais Chambertain, delivered in Trojan horse style via my brother amongst his pressies. I wouldn’t be surprised if dad poured the wine down the sink, or gave it away to the nearest orphanage. No, surely that would be sacrilege, even if it was from me.Our band had a Christmas office party, well you know, met up for drinks and nibbles at my house then went for an Indian feast, then yet more drinkies. I have been a little naughty this Christmas, but it’s been fun, and I haven’t been out so much for ages. Must do something about this fat tummy that has appeared though; don’t want to be turned down for surgery because of obesity. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much.Anyway I shan’t waffle on any longer (mmm waffles, maple syrup, ice-cream…) better get to bed, heavy night tomorrow. It’s the last one, I promise!xx
    438 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Party, Party, Party!2007 is upon us. Just in case you hadn’t noticed…It’s been a fairly busy Christmas period for me, lots of parties and meals out and turkey and pudding and wine and general revelry, with a few gigs thrown in for good measure. I have another party to go to tomorrow night (oh god, another one?!) at which I expect there to be lots of old faces, many of whom will never have met Lucy, which sounds kind of weird now after so long living full-time. But this is the party of an old friend, who knows just about everyone in town, so after this there can’t possibly be many people left who have yet to meet Lucy, can there…?My friend from Kendal, Stephie, had her SRS in Brighton on the 2nd January with Phil Thomas, which makes me the only pre-op in our gang now, not that I’m bovered. I’m not in any great rush, but I am certainly ready for it. 2007 will be the year, probably late summer/early autumn. I just hope there are no more military coups and what-nots in Thailand before then. Mind you it didn’t affect Gillian’s trip, who flew out exactly one week after the last coup. I’m certain Dr Suporn is the surgeon for me, I’d be most upset if anything untoward happened before I got there.Of course we gave Stephie the obligatory send off with a meal out and drinkies afterwards, which was a great night. I still get some strange perverted enjoyment out of being in a gang of 6 transsexuals taking over the town. I’m sure all of us blend in reasonably well, but put us all together and you can’t really miss us! Anyway I had a text from her and she says it has gone fine, didn’t hurt a bit. It will Stephie, it will, soon as the morphine wears off.I guess until it’s my turn I will just be biding my time. The band is going great so that keeps me occupied, we’re even hoping to have a go at writing/recording some original material soon, just as a sideline, just for fun.Quite surprisingly I got a Christmas card from my dad this year, even more surprisingly it had a cheque in it! Still haven’t spoken to him for over a year, and he hasn’t responded to the mail I sent to thank him, but it’s a start. At least he somehow acknowledges my existence. He couldn’t bring himself to write my name though, had to get his wife to do that on both the cheque and the envelope, but he did manage to write the words "Merry Christmas". I suspect he was somewhat nagged into it, but I was still pleasantly surprised. I’d got him a nice bottle of Gevrais Chambertain, delivered in Trojan horse style via my brother amongst his pressies. I wouldn’t be surprised if dad poured the wine down the sink, or gave it away to the nearest orphanage. No, surely that would be sacrilege, even if it was from me.Our band had a Christmas office party, well you know, met up for drinks and nibbles at my house then went for an Indian feast, then yet more drinkies. I have been a little naughty this Christmas, but it’s been fun, and I haven’t been out so much for ages. Must do something about this fat tummy that has appeared though; don’t want to be turned down for surgery because of obesity. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much.Anyway I shan’t waffle on any longer (mmm waffles, maple syrup, ice-cream…) better get to bed, heavy night tomorrow. It’s the last one, I promise!xx
    Jan 05, 2007 438