Nobody told me that there'd be days like this.
I'm incredibly, uncomfortably ill as I write this so bear with me, would you all? Fact is: I'm dying here.
Yup, it's only partly an exaggeration. I have a bad mitral valve: stenosis and it's a big effin' problem. I can't sleep. I can't walk more than a dozen steps without running out of breath. Work is a goddamn Ironman triathalon. I have pneumonia and pleurisy on top of it, making me just short of suicidal.
But I can't die. I have people counting on me to stay alive, Marilyn my Sprite being the first and best example.
So I'm going to go under the knife, probably in January. It may not be a knife, it may be a balloon and catheter. If that's not an option, then it's crack me open and slice and dice, baby.
It's going to hurt. A lot. It's going to leave one hell of an ugly scar between my brand-new tits. It's going to lay me out for at least a month. It's going to cost an insane amount of money.
It's going to be the scariest thing I've ever done. My first time down the street in full drag at high noon was a fuckin' cakewalk by comparison, literally and actually.
Therein, I suspect, lies my lesson and my knowledge: nothing can frighten me after this, nothing can daunt me and nothing, absolutely NOTHING will be able to dissuade me or turn me from my course.
I've already gone full time. Shortly after my birthday, I fought through the fear and the inertia and the resistance at work and the street and I started to be me, Michelle Diane Rose, 24-7. I started wearing some kind of makeup and stopped hiding my breasts and I dress like a woman, not a man, not a man at all.
ME. Finally. Half a century of being a construct, a synthetic personality, someone who simply wasn't a real person and did not know how to behave and now I'm FINALLY at home in this body.
And it's going to die unless I go under the knife and let them cut into my heart.
The irony of this has not escaped me one bit, thank you very much. If the same Cosmic Jokester were responsible for both; my nearly-successful transition and my impending doom, I'd be at a loss as to whether to kiss Him/Her or punch Him/Her in the nose.
I've shed quite a few tears in the last few weeks, I have. I cried in the Cardiac ICU at Sunnyside Kaiser while Dusty, the charge nurse held my hand and comforted me. God bless you, you red-headed little sparkplug. I love you, too. I've shed tears uncontrollably, reading the responses to my situation on the MHB message boards--and if any of you folks are reading this; hi there, especially YOU, Darya--and I think I've fallen in love with three or four intensely beautiful people there whom I've never met.
And I've shed tears in the ER and ICU while male nurses manhandled me and touched my breasts and made me wanna DIE.
I'm not done shedding tears. It's THAT which makes me so tired. I'm tired of being sick, tired of grief, tired of pain. I literally do not know if I can keep going and endure any more. It's just begun, it will get worse before it gets better and I don't know if I'm strong enough.
I wanted to change my name before I did this. I NEEDED to. I don't want to be in a hospital bed, helpless, while some big ape of a male nurse or orderly calls me 'Michael' and refers to me as 'him' or 'he' and treats me with that casual male camaraderie that FUCKIN' MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH. (I am NOT male, you asshole.) I don't want my breasts handled with casual contempt nor to be treated like some side-show freak and I DO NOT want to be called 'Michael' for any reason, at any time by anyone.
I'll put up with it at work because some people there just don't have a construct and some people are having trouble shifting perspective and besides, I promised I wouldn't. I want to get along, I really do, but the hospital is there for ME, not for their arrogant convenience.
If one, just one person calls me by that hated name, whether or not I'm successful in having it changed before the end of the year, I'm gonna climb out of the bed and kneel on him or her, look them in the face and politely inquire as to where they left their fornicatin' manners.
But do it I must and do it I will. Affirmation. I choose life. I just hope It chooses ME.
I think it will. My mother is standing behind my shoulder again.
And too many people want me to live.
Support me in thy prayers.
Michelle Diane Rose
November 12th, 2008