Friday, November 30, 2012

November Rain

So my last post was a detailed report on my HRT experience so far, this one will be about what is going on in my life right now.  Disclaimer: the title has absolutely nothing to do with the Guns and Roses song and I don't even particularly like that song, it just has the word November in it.  I also do not mean to imply that November was a dreary month in my life.  The weather was pretty dreary here much of the time but in my life the sun is shining brightly every day!
So the biggest thing to happen to me this month was getting two dozen roses at one time from my boyfriend as pictured above!  Seriously, that was very nice but really the two biggest improvements were that this was the month I finally stopped wearing my wig and stopped using any breast enhancers.  It is all natural now so I will hopefully keep growing in both of those areas and it will get better and better.  Actually letting go of the wig was a goal for me this fall so I can check that one off the list, the other one just sort of happened.  I also visited with both therapists this month and have again come to the conclusion that nobody has a magic solution for my talk with my parents and the biggest challenge is me opening my mouth.  I have made a plan there that I will discuss in a bit.  Also, my Transgender Voice and Communication class wound up this week and although I have yet to get my final evaluation (it will come soon in the mail), I think I can safely say I achieved all of my goals there.  I also went to my first real support group meeting and got in some serious shopping (of course).

So I guess the biggest thing about November is that it comes directly before December and December promises to be a Whale of a month here in Tammy World.  Something is going to happen December 21, 2012.  I know that is when the Mayan calender predicts the world will end but if I really believed that I would not be here typing this right now.  I would be taking the money I have saved for transition and be off doing something spectacular.  Instead I will wait awhile for the spectacular, but this date is the winter solstice and I have been tracking each season change pretty closely as they relate to achieving my goals and I think this solstice will see me right where I want to be with the one minor (Not) exception of having come out to my parents about my transition.  The current plan is to talk to them (mom first) on the 27th of December and I have a meeting with my primary (new) therapist on the 28th.  I am not going to do this until after Christmas so the therapist backed me into a corner by scheduling the post talk meeting on that date.  Also, I had told my boyfriend that telling them before New Year's Eve could potentially affect our plans for a big night out and maybe I should wait, but he was like "no way", I need to get this done.  So now I have a date in history to blow my parent's world up and change mine forever.  December 27, 2012: the Mayans were wrong by 6 days......

So the ending of my trans communication class is bittersweet.  I will miss going up to Greensboro with Donna each week but we are still going to try and get together each Tuesday and go out and shop and do different things.  After our last class Tuesday we went to dinner at Chili's and then went to Ulta where she had a makeover, what a blast!  With no class to go to we will have no telling how much fun and this is some of the only times she gets out to do things like this.  Tammy World is rubbing off on her and she does not want the fun to end. :)  The week before the class ended we both did our initial individual evaluations again to check our progress and I was able to achieve my goal of maintaining a mean pitch of over 175 hz in a three minute conversation.  Female range is ~170-220 hz and I had a mean of 192 hz on my final evaluation after a previous best of 171 hz.  I still have a lot of work to do in getting a natural female voice and maintaining it All the time but I have proven I can do it and everything sort of came together at the end.  They say you will never get it truly right until you go full time and I do expect that will be the case with me but I also expect that will not be too far off. 

With my original therapist a couple of weeks ago I set a new goal of filing for my name change and starting to live female full time on February 1, 2013.  In my mind's eye I cannot see past the 27th of December so I can't say for sure that date will be met but I am very hopeful.  I am actually excited now to tell mom, then dad but with all the hype they make out of Christmas I am going to wait until right after.  I finally do feel ready to get it over with and get On with my life.

The support group meeting I went to was not as tragic as I had thought it would be, listening to people's problems and such, but it was as boring as I had hoped it would not be.  Still, it is better than sitting at home and I will go back sometime.  They meet on Saturday nights and I am usually having fun on a date with my boyfriend then but when I am free I will try to go and maybe meet some new friends.  I did meet one friend there who has recently gone full time and has offered to help me with my documentation with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) so that I do not have to keep the male gender marker on my driver's licence.  Usually in this state they keep the male gender marker there if you are pre op but apparently there is a way to get an female F on the licence if you know how to do it.  I have another Facebook friend in Charlotte that has done this also. 

Shopping, shopping, shopping.  I went shopping a few times this month, with Mitchell, by myself and with friends.  Yesterday I was out of money until the first of the month and I was taking stuff back to stores so I could shop some more, but that is Not a sign that I am a shopaholic!  Its been fun and this is definitely shopping season here with lots of sales and weather that doesn't want you to be outside.  Except for a couple of pairs of boots, one really nice pair Mitchell bought me, I don't feel I have really bought that much good stuff this month but it was fun trying.  Next week I am going with Donna after my therapist meeting and Wednesday it's back to the mall in Raleigh with Melissa, who is coming up from South Carolina to shop with me.  Shopping in Tammy World is a world class experience and yes they do come in from all over to shop with me.  The picture below was taken by my friend Julie yesterday and I will tell you that 2 of the three big bags were hers, further proof that I am not a shopaholic. 

So friends, it will be December here in an hour and the stage is set for this to be a Monumental month for me.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and I will be around home this weekend and plan to get another blog post out very soon.  We are going to kick December off Big here in Tammy World and thanks for coming along for the ride.  It should be interesting and possibly fun, we will see.  Tomorrow night I might drive to downtown Raleigh for a friend's birthday party, her first female birthday celebration since going full time recently and she will be the same age I am now.  My only hang up with it is driving an hour to a place that serves alcohol and then driving home.  If I go I likely won't stay long so it will hardly be worth the long trip but it will be cool to be there so we will see. My usual weekend date with Mitchell will be Sunday and it will be an abbreviated version because he is with his kids all weekend and we will not be able to spend the night.  I do have the house to myself tomorrow but since I live in Redneckville and don't have any friends here I always have to go somewhere else to have any fun.  If I stay home I will work on my next blog post that I have planned.  Either way I will be living my life in the next few weeks to the fullest of my abilities while gathering strength for the upcoming climb up Mt. Everest.  Please send oxygen............

Friday, November 16, 2012

6 Month HRT Report

6 months into male to female hormone therapy as of yesterday and I can feel the change inside now more than ever.  I am going to go over all the physical changes and effects but I am telling you the greatest change is on the inside and to me it is beautiful!  I do not feel like the same person anymore at all and I could not be happier about that.  I never felt happy with myself before, fluctuating between hating myself and not liking myself, but now for the first time in my memory I am comfortable in my own skin.  All the physical changes aside (and all of them take a long time to fully come to fruition), the mental change I have experienced is amazing, more than I ever expected and definitely worth the price of admission.

Like the picture above implies, I am going places, moving from point A to point B and definitely enjoying the ride.  After 6 months all the physical changes of HRT are reversible except breast growth (which becomes permanent after 6 months) but there is no reverse gear on this vehicle of life that I am on.  I assume that the mental changes would be reversible as well and I am not going to back to the place I was in, ever.  I have even filled in the dark hole and do not think I could find it if I tried.  I get emotional now from time to time and cry and so forth, sometimes for little reason.  But it really is a good feeling overall, its hard to describe it.  Its like letting go instead of letting things build up and the overall anxiety that had escalated in me over the years has vanished.  I was telling my therapist yesterday that I no longer have any panic attacks, my hives have cleared up and for the first time since age 16 and I no longer use any drugs.  I did see myself as using them ,especially marijuana, for so long as a form of self medication for mental stress, anxiety and depression.  Apparently the hormones have taken away the need for all that because I was never able to quit before without a horrible mood setting in.  The quasi suicidal cocaine use stopped a few years ago, not too long after I first started letting the real me inside come out by crossdressing and allowing myself to look in the mirror and see an image I did not detest.  The pot smoking I seemed to still need to maintain my mood until I started hormones, and now I don't miss it at all.  I was also able to stop using the medicine I was prescribed for anxiety after I started reducing testosterone with Spironolactone, so I now feel that T was a major source of my problems. 

Let's take a look at the physical changes I have noticed from HRT so far.  I feel like my face has changed and taken on a softer, more feminine look.  This is not dramatic but is noticeable with or without makeup and the pores on my face are smaller which allows me to use less makeup.  People tell me now my skin looks great and I always had bad skin before.  I still have problems with irritation from shaving so I will be so glad to finish hair removal by electrolysis.  I have always had very sensitive skin, still do and my therapist told me yesterday that because of that I can expect some skin damage, in the form of pock scarring, from electrolysis.  That is not something I wanted to hear and I already have some acne scars from my teenage years and some possible minor damage from electrolysis so far.  I have suspended my electrolysis until I can go somewhere that uses the newest equipment and deals with a lot of trans women.  I found a place in Charlotte, about 3.5 hours away, that I want to try very soon and get large blocks or full facial clearings done in one day.  I have had about 30 hours so far and the average is 100-200 hours to clear facial hair so I have a ways to go.  I feel mine will be closer to the 100 hours and I plan to get started back next month and will report how that goes.

To go over the other effects I am including a table from the Endocrine Society, which I think has the definitive document on hormone treatment and effects as well as all other aspects of MTF and FTM medical treatments.  Here is the  online link for the entire document in pdf form:

And the feminizing effects table:

Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons:An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline

Feminizing effects in MTF transsexual persons
Redistribution of body fat3–6 months2–3 yr
Decrease in muscle mass and strength3–6 months1–2 yr
Softening of skin/decreased oiliness3–6 monthsUnknown
Decreased libido1–3 months3–6 months
Decreased spontaneous erections1–3 months3–6 months
Male sexual dysfunctionVariableVariable
Breast growth3–6 months2–3 yr
Decreased testicular volume3–6 months2–3 yr
Decreased sperm productionUnknown>3 yr
Decreased terminal hair growth6–12 months>3 yr2
Scalp hairNo regrowth3
Voice changesNone4

The thing that stands out to me on this table is that All the known listed effects have started by the 6 month mark of HRT, so I will review my personal observations at this point in time.  They say YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) and hormones affect everyone differently but I find this chart a good base to begin measuring my observed and expected physical changes.

Redistribution of body fat:  I started seeing this prior to the 3 month mark and definitely have a lot of fat redistribution going on now.  I also have some addition of body fat, as I picked up a little weight, but that is to be expected with hormones if one is not vigilant enough although I have not changed sizes at all.  Really the only negative thing I want to get rid of from the weight gain is a small degree of love handles but I am glad I have not gotten a beer type belly like I did before if I put on weight.  My butt and hips have put on weight as well as my upper thighs and I never put any fat on my arms or legs before.  My face used to get puffy when I would gain weight but that has not happened, although I notice my cheeks have filled out some from the redistribution.

Decrease in muscle mass and strength:  I noticed this starting before the 3 month mark also and it is continuing but does seem to be a slow process.  My arms and legs were quite muscular as well as certain parts of my upper body, primarily from a period of weight lifting as a teenager and heavy work as an adult.  I suppose no one really wants to lose strength but I have noticed a degree of loss there already.  The muscle mass itself I will be more than happy to be rid of.  I am hoping to make a lot more progress in this area by next summer so that I will feel more comfortable showing more of my body but it had already made a difference by late this summer as I was not as conscientious about wearing shorter sleeve tops.  I still don't feel comfortable in public going sleeveless but I hope to get there eventually.

Softening of skin, decreased oiliness:  I have probably noticed less of the softening of skin at first than most people report but I think that is mainly because my skin was quite soft before starting hormones.  My skin is naturally soft as well as sensitive and since its been a few years since I have done any significant physical work and I have a good moisturizing regimen, I have kept it pretty soft.  Here at the 6 month mark I am noticing it becoming even softer though and that is always a good thing.  The decreased oiliness I have noticed and that has helped me maintain better facial skin etc.

Decreased libido:  As far as having a decrease in the need to have sex or have an orgasm, that has decreased significantly.  I used to feel an organic need to have that happen often and I think that is normal in genetic males but that feeling is rare now if not non existent and certainly much easier to control.  As far as not being in the mood to be romantic or to please my partner that has not really decreased and personally I have always been about pleasing the other person when in a relationship.  The table lists the maximum effect achieved in 6 months so maybe no more changes are in order here.

Decreased spontaneous erections:  The table says this starts at 1 month and has maximum effect by 6 months and that is consistent with my experience.  I don't have those anymore on a spontaneous basis and that is very nice not to have something that you cannot control.

Male sexual dysfunction:  The table says variable and I think that is my experience so far so I will leave it at that.

Breast growth:  With the table listing a 3-6 month onset I have to feel pretty good to be where I am now although I feel I am only now achieving a full cup size.  Mine had actually started budding if not fully growing before I started HRT because of the phytoestrogens and Spironolactone I was using.  The therapist tells me that even though my estrogen level was not really enhanced prior to starting hormones (it was 11/pn/ml), the phtyoestrogens in the herbs help condition the estrogen receptors so that they will have a quicker and hopefully better effect throughout the 2-3 year period of growth listed here.  I will add that many report breast growth even after 3 years or even longer and my doctor has told me he doesn't feel they will achieve full size before some form of surgery.  I don't know that I will ever want any breast augmentation and probably won't if I can get decent growth from hormones because I do like the sensitivity, but I think its important to wait at least 2 years if that's to be done.  I know some do it but its not considered a good idea before the 2 year mark because any significant growth behind the breast implants can cause problems. 

Decreased testicular volume:  I started noticing this effect before the 3 month mark and at the 6 month mark its definitely more pronounced.  I will say it certainly makes tucking easier, which is very nice.

Decreased sperm production:  There doesn't seem to be a quantified time period here but I don't think I am producing any sperm at all now, or very little at most.  I have read that fertility is usually eliminated if not severely compromised by the 6 month HRT mark and I am sure that is the case with me. 

Decreased terminal hair growth:  I assume they are referring to body hair here and I noticed this effect starting prior to the 3 month mark but here at the 6 month mark when it is supposed to be starting I am really noticing it in certain areas.  For instance, I am not sure I have to shave my arms anymore.  Right now its been almost 3 weeks and I am testing it to see how this goes but women do have hair on their arms and most do not shave them, it's just usually light and fine and not noticeable.  That's what I am seeing there now, or not seeing, because I do have some hair coming back there now but I can't see it and can barely feel it.  In the past if I would go awhile without shaving my arms I would get visible stubble there that was dark and did not look good.  My legs have to be shaved less often also and when it comes back it is not really dark and visible like before.  The only area that I do not seem to have hair at all is my back.  I only had a few, maybe 18 hairs, and they only appeared a few years ago.  Now the hairs on my back do not seem to be coming back at all.  Central body areas seem to be affected last but here at the 6 month mark I am seeing slower growth there now as well.

Scalp hair: The table says no regrowth but I hear a lot of reports of people regrowing some lost hair to varying degrees, but if someone has significant hair loss it is not coming back.  I am lucky to have not had any real hair loss or thinning.  There are two small areas, on the right and left side around the temples where I had some hair starting to recede and I actually do see some hair regrowing in both of those areas.  My forehead is a little high and it is genetic and not from hair loss but it is something I would like to address surgically at some point.  I consider it a male characteristic but many if not most trans women have this as well as some females.  The surgery was designed for females but at least I have learned to live with it and do not allow that to affect my confidence now. 

Hormone levels and regimen

Now that we have reviewed my observed effects from HRT so far let's take a look at the hormones I am taking and where I am on my medical transition.  Below is another table (15) from the Endocrine Society on monitoring and recommended levels.  At the end of October, after 5.5 months of HRT,  I had a doctor's appointment to test my blood including my hormone levels.  The estrogen level was 128.5 pg/ml and testosterone was 14 ng/ml.  I told my doctor I wanted my estrogen level closer to 200 and he told me he thought it would come up but was at a therapeutic level now and within recommended female range, which he said was 19 to 356, depending on the part of the cycle she is in, and with an average of 150.  The following quote from gives similar figures.  "The normal range of estrogen varies depending upon the patient's age. Typically a women aged 20 to 29 will have an average level of 149 pg/ml (pictograms per milliliter). A female aged 30 to 39 will average a level of 210 pg/ml. And those over 40 but not in menopause will have an average level of 152 pg/ml. These average levels can vary day to day depending on each female's menstrual cycle."

My therapist was telling me the endocrinologist in Raleigh liked her patients estrogen levels at 75-80 and testosterone below 30, but that doctor is considered conservative.  She said if I was seeing that doctor she would cut my dose so I am really glad I have the doctor I do.  I am aware of endocrinologists in other cited that prefer patients in the 150-160 range.  The chart below recommends estrogen levels in female range and below 200 and testosterone levels below 55.  I guess I am good shape now and hormonally female.  My E level has risen 50% since my 3 month test and we will keep testing it every 3 to 4 months so I feel it will rise more and I am good hands with the doctor I see. 

Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons:An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline

Monitoring of MTF transsexual persons on cross-hormone therapy
1. Evaluate patient every 2–3 months in the first year and then 1–2 times per year afterward to monitor for appropriate signs of feminization and for development of adverse reactions.
2. Measure serum testosterone and estradiol every 3 months.
    a. Serum testosterone levels should be <55 ng/dl.
    b. Serum estradiol should not exceed the peak physiological range for young healthy females, with ideal levels <200 pg/ml.
    c. Doses of estrogen should be adjusted according to the serum levels of estradiol.
3. For individuals on spironolactone, serum electrolytes (particularly potassium) should be monitored every 2–3 months initially in the first year.
4. Routine cancer screening is recommended in nontranssexual individuals (breasts, colon, prostate).
5. Consider BMD testing at baseline if risk factors for osteoporotic fracture are present (e.g. previous fracture, family history, glucocorticoid use, prolonged hypogonadism). In individuals at low risk, screening for osteoporosis should be conducted at age 60 and in those who are not compliant with hormone therapy.

Below is another table from the Endocrine Society showing recommended MTF HRT regimens.  My estrogen dosage is transdermal estradiol patch 0.2 mg twice weekly and anti androgen Spironolactone 150mg/d.  The estrogen patch provides the female hormone and the antiandrogen suppresses the male hormone that is being produced in my body.  Item 2.c. in Table 15 above states that doses  of estrogen should be adjusted according to the serum levels of estradiol. 

Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons:An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline


Hormone regimens in the transsexual persons
MTF transsexual persons1
        Oral: estradiol
2.0–6.0 mg/d
        Transdermal: estradiol patch
0.1–0.4 mg twice weekly
        Parenteral: estradiol valerate or cypionate
5–20 mg im every 2 wk
2–10 mg im every week
100–200 mg/d
        Cyproterone acetate2
50–100 mg/d
    GnRH agonist
3.75 mg sc monthly

Basically what I am taking now is 2 0.1 estradiol patches (Vivelle Dot) x 2 per week and 150 mg of Spironolactone (Aldactone) daily. I have changed the administration of the patches since November 1 and I hope this will raise my level a little bit. I am putting on 2 patches at the time twice a week now whereas I was simply putting on a new patch every 2 days and leaving them on at least 4 days. That way the 16 patches I am prescribed monthly lasted me at least 31 days and the new way (which is the recommended way) they will only last 28 days. Even though my doctor says I am now on the highest dose he will give me, when I go back next time I am going to ask him to give me 18 patches/month so they will last the full 30 to 31 days. If not I will just get the refills a little early. As far as the Spiro, I was taking 200 mg daily but it is a diuretic and I was having a heck of a time with frequent urination and feelings of dehydration. I thought I was experiencing "dehydration paranoia" but my last blood test showed my sodium to be a little low and the doctor asked me if I was drinking enough water. I do drink a lot of water but I was feeling something was not right so a couple of weeks before the last blood test I cut myself down to 150 mg daily to see what it would do to the T level . My testosterone stayed about the same and is right where it needs to be so the doctor and I agreed to cut my Spiro dose to 150mg/d. The low sodium is the only problem I have experienced so far with my HRT regimen and I feel I am tolerating the current dose well.

This has all been a little technical but I want to give the most detailed and accurate picture of what is going on with my medical transition right now.  I do want to state that the best thing about HRT for me is that I am finally getting to experience, I think, what it feels like to be normal.  I will never be truly normal and I'm perfectly ok with that but at least I can feel normal inside and possibly more importantly, feel good about myself.  I want to leave y'all with some quotes from one of my favorite songs and one whose lyrics have a great deal of meaning to me right now, I Hope You Dance, sung by Lee Anne Womack.  I get emotional listening to this one sometimes and I am including a link below to a video of the song with lyrics.  Its definitely worth a listen.

"Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens."
"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance."
"Never settle for the path of least resistance."
"When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you Dance."

Sunday, November 4, 2012


                                     Posing for my boyfriend on his birthday.

State of the Blog Update: 11/4/2012

Hey y'all, I wanted to get in an update on Tammy World from Tammy World and point out some new features and changes here on my blog.  On the right here we have my Facebook banner and if you are on Facebook and would like to be friends there, please send me a request.  The there is the pageview counter and we are now over 16,000 views here, yayy!  I get over 3,000 views daily on my main Flickr site but those are just pictures and to have this many people read intimate details of my life is a little daunting, but my purpose here is to share and give back so I am thrilled to do it.  Hearing from readers like Rachel, who writes me via Flickr about my page there and this blog, gives me inspiration to know I am doing some good by writing here about my experience.  Quite a few notes come in like this but this is an excerpt from an email from Rachel, "You can write on how girls like you and some others  help "closet" girls like me by making ourselves feel comfortable about who we really are. I no longer feel like I am some kind of sick person wanting to dress as a woman. I now know that this is part of who I am. Rachel is a part of me. I wish she could be a bigger part of my life but she will have to sit inside for now. But you have given me a little more insite as to how to channel my inner fellings."   Thank you Rachel and I am just trying to give back a piece of the inspiration I have gotten from others online over the years.

Below the pageview counter are the blog members and if you would like to follow Tammy World please click there to connect.  After that is the Blog archive with all the past posts and under that is a little bit about me and to the right of that I want to point out a new feature here, the links section. The links section contains some other good blogs and websites I hope y'all will check out.  I will be adding new links here from time to time so please keep checking back.  The first link is my Facebook friend Katie Scott's You Tube vlog.  She is new to the video blogging scene but is making quite a splash on You Tube so I hope y'all check her page out.  I do hope to get out to Charlotte some time to meet her, we are in the same state but a long ways away.  The next link is Lucy's Denise's website and I have mentioned Lucy here before when she began to live full time this summer.  In the UK they do things differently and she is waiting on the system to start HRT etc. but she has changed her name now and lives and works as herself, way to go Lucy!  Her girlfriend is Amanda Dailey, her blog is the next link and it is a very good read to get the perspective of how life is for the (female at birth) partner of a trans woman.  Then there is Sarah Wilson's blog and she has been here on blogger doing great work since 2010.  Sarah friended me on Facebook and told me she was following my blog and now I am following hers. :)  She also got me on T-Central, which is the next link on the list and this is an excellent site for finding lots of trans related blogs.  Thank you Sarah for pointing this site out to me and recommending Tammy World to be included there.  I am getting lots of hits from that site now.  After that is TG Central out of the UK and this is another great site to find lots of other blogs and trans related websites.  I really appreciate being listed there as well.  Just added to the link is World of Tg and this is a site that has started running my blog link under "Personality Blogs" very recently.  After that is my 2 Flickr pages, please check them out to see all my pictures past and present (at least as far back as 2008).  I still get the majority of my hits here from the links I include on my Flickr pictures.  Finally we have the Trans By Def You Tube channel which Katie told me about and she hosts videos there on Wednesdays.  If anyone else has a related link they would like included in this section please let me know and I will consider adding it. 

After the links section there is the select language translator and a box to click to follow Tammy World by email.  The language translator is cool and if you want to see what Tammy World looks like in other languages click on that.  I will say that a majority of my readers here are from predominantly English speaking countries but I get hits from all over the world and quite a few from countries where English is not the primary language.  I love how Blogger breaks down where the readers originate etc.  For instance, in the last week we have had 25 viewers from Germany, 16 from France and 9 from Russia, just to name a few countries where English is not typically spoken and people have read this blog.  I want to welcome all of y'all to this little slice of Trans Americana, Tammy World style! :)  Finally, at the very bottom of the page is the links to the most popular posts of all time here in the short history of the Tammy World 2012 blog.  Coming up, I have in mind a couple of conceptual posts I will be working on as well as part 2 of my coming out story, Hello World, that I started last week and a 6 month HRT update due in a couple of weeks . There is much more to come y'all, so stay tuned! 

                                           Worldwide: Tammy World 2012

While I am here today I want to update a couple of more things as well.

Pam Update:  I have mentioned my friend and big sister Pam from Oklahoma here before and I want to give an update on what's going on with her.  Pam had her birthday last month so she is again older than me and is my big sister :)  She recently returned from Mexico and is recovering from her FFS surgery but she's a fast healer and she is already out and about and preparing to return to work next week after having officially changed her name this week.  Congratulations sister!  She looks great after the surgery and she is definitely ready for full time.  Her job is a little bit of a high profile position, making presentations and teaching seminars, but she will be in the office for a little while before going back out teaching and making speeches.  I have always hated public speaking so I really admire her courage in more ways than one.  It is always difficult to transition in place with a job you have had a long time but she is doing great with it.  Most of the ladies in her office have accepted her and many have really embraced her and befriended her and this will make it much easier when she gets back into the swing of things at work.  It must be wonderful to be accepted as one of the girls in the office!  Transition is a struggle anytime but Pam is totally blessed in her situation and I really love how she has handled her transition, starting here in 2012, and followed through on all her dreams so far.  I admire her strength and I think enough of it rubs off on me so that I will be ok also. :)

Weekend Update:  Friday was my boyfriend Mitch's birthday and we were lucky enough to be able to celebrate together.  I drove up to Raleigh that afternoon and met him in an executive suite he had gotten us for the night.  We try to get late check out so it ended up we had the room until 2 pm Saturday.  So after I got settled in he opened his presents and I massaged him a little bit to get him relaxed after the long drive down, we went out to eat a great meal at O'Charley's.

After the meal we went back to the hotel and took some pictures then it was time to watch one of his favorite shows, the soap opera that is WWE wrestling, lol.  I haven't been a big wrestling fan but I love soap operas and it was fun watching the show with him.  After wrestling was over we took some more pictures in the room and then I put on some lingerie just for him, no pictures, lol.

We had a great romantic night and morning too and after checkout the next day we had a special lunch at Chili's.  I think the salmon there may have better than what I had Friday night, though they were both great meals!  After lunch Mitchell went to spend some much needed quality Daddy time with his kids and I did a little
shopping in Cary.  I lucked out at Rack Room Shoes and found a pair of 3.5" black heels that are an identical match to the pair the Little Dog chewed up while she stayed with us this summer.  They are so comfy and easy to walk in all day, I love them, plus they are size 10's and fit great and most of my shoes are 11's.  Also, I got them at half price because I got a pair of knee high leather flat boots like I have been wanting and I got them on sale too.  Then I went to Marshall's and got a couple of much needed sweaters, considering the weather here in North Carolina this week has turned cool already, bordering on cold. 

Speaking of shopping, and I am not a shopaholic by the way, I did run across a couple of other good deals this week.  Monday I was in Durham for therapy and discovered a mall I had heard about but never been to.  My friend Beverly had an appointment with the same therapist right after me, in fact I saw her in the lobby, and we met at Ruby Tuesday's for a late lunch when she got out.  That gave me a chance to do a lot of mall walking and window shopping but I did get a fleece lined hoodie at Sears and some cool ear rings from Dress Barn.  On the way to class in Greensboro Tuesday with Donna we stopped at My Secret Closet, an upscale consignment store, and I got some awesome deals.  I found an Alfred Dunner thick short sleeve top with the $46 tag still on it and a pair of white Ralph Lauren jeans, both marked at $11.88 and both 40% off on sale. :)  I also got a sweater for $4.75 and some $2.50 ear rings, bringing the total to around $21.  Overall it was a pretty good week of shopping without spending too much money. 

Besides going to class again this Tuesday I have another therapist appointment in Durham on Thursday to go over the final draft of my coming out letter to my parents.  I am having a lot of therapy right now but I am also feeling a lot of stress over the upcoming ordeal.  I want to be good and ready for when the time comes and I feel I am close to being ready now.   I have not been as depressed or as sad as I was in the couple of prior weeks when I was reliving old bad memories and such.  We do have the Holidays almost upon us and I want it to be as joyous a time as possible in Tammy World and I hope they are in your world too.  I am really enjoying writing this blog and I thank all of y'all for reading it!  Its time to bring on the Clampetts now and I join Jethro, Granny, Ellie Mae and Jed in saying "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"