Friday, 30 July 2010

Happy Day

On the 11th August I've arranged to take a trip down to Portsmouth and pay a visit to Sugar and Spiced for a makeover and to get some photgraphs taken. I'm looking forward to it as when I rang to finalise the arrangements with Jo I decided that I'd have the pictures taken outside. This means that we're going to have to walk up from her house to the little cemetary where she takes some people to take their pictures.
As I used to live in Southsea I know the particular cemetary. In fact I used to go to the hair salon that is on the corner opposite it.
Its going to be an interesting experience as it will be broad daylight and being the smack bang in the holiday season there are bound to be more people out and about. Gulp! Its something that I have to get used to though.
In the evening I've got another appointment at the hair salon.
I specifically decided that I'd go to Portmouth that day in order that I could drive back to the salon and go for the appointment as Jenny. Of course I can only do that if Lou is happy for me to do so.
I tried to ring Lou the other day to discuss it only to find out that she is on holiday at the moment.
Not a problem them though as I can always ring her next week when she is back.
While thinking about travelling back I decided that it might be nice to have something to wear that was suitable for summer and also suitable to wear to the salon. Trying to think of somewhere to go shopping that might have something suitable was interesting. In the end though I rang Zee at the beauty salon to get some ideas from her.
After explaining the situation to her Zee repeated the fact that her and Lou wanted to take me shopping but that it was unlikely that they would be able to do that before I went to Portmouth. Especially since the only time that I'm likely to have spare is the Monday afternoon after my next appointment for a body waxing (and eye lash tint) with Zee.
Zee suggested that the best place to go shopping would be Poole or Southampton, both places about an hour and a half drive from where I live. In the meantime she suggested that I might like to think about going to New Look or Matalan and have a look in there.
I've shopped at Matalan before so when I have the chance I'll pop in and have a look see what they've got.
Our conversation got even better after that as Zee said that she had an appointment to get her hair done coming up soon. She told me that she'd talk to Lou about my appointment and see if she could find out when she had some time available in order to go on the shopping trip. Zee thinks that Lou will be more than happy as although Zee has seen me made up, Lou hasn't and actually seeing me with make up on will give her a better idea of what to do with my hair.
I was grateful enough for her doing that but then she completely surprised me.
Zee said that she would pop into the salon on her way home on the 11th and the three of us could sit down and discuss when we would be able to go on our shopping trip.
Now much as I'd been thinking that it would be fantastic if she could be there as well I'd never thought it would happen or even how I could ask her if she would be able to be around.
I was so happy when I came off the phone to her. I actually felt like I could cry.
August 11th is going to be such a special day for me now. I'm going to be out and about as myself in daylight for the first time in ages. Then I'm going to be spending time with some really fantastic ladies having a girly chat about things.
I am going to be so happy by the time that I've finished at the salon.
The only downside is going to be what do I do afterwards. I'd so love to be able to come back home without getting changed but that means I have to risk the neighbours spotting me. If I can get back late enough that people wouldn't see me then it would be a no-brainer and I'd simply do it. I just need to find a way to use up the two or three hours from leaving the salon until it will be dark enough and quiet enough for me to get from the car and into the house.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Knee update

Bit of a long post.
Last week I went to see my GP about my knee problem. She examined the knee and finally suggested that I see a physiotherapist.
While I was there I updated her on what has been happening with regards to my transitioning. She was happy with what has happened and my plans going forward.
The day after seeing my GP I contacted the private health people that we use through work and got the Ok to see a physio. One of my colleagues had been to see someone that they found to be very good so I phoned him and left a message asking him to phone back. The following day I did this again. Even as I write this I've not heard back from him.
However, I happened to be talking with another colleague who told me of another physio that he has used and knows treats a lot of triathletes.
I rang them and was able to get an appointment for the following day immediately.
At the appointment, Sarah, the physio had me go through various movements while standing and walking then had me hop up on the couch.
After moving my leg around a bit she performed a couple of tests to see how strong my legs muscles were.
Right leg - fine. No problems at all.
Left leg - well the conversation went a bit like this.
S: Ok, push against my hands. (Slight pause) I said push.
Me: I am!
S: Ok, now pull against my hands. (Another slight pause) I said pull.
Me: I am pulling.
At this point she had me straighten my leg while she lifted it up of the couch. There was a distinct shake in the leg as it was held there.

The upshot of all this was that for some reason my left leg is a lot weaker than my right. Pretty surprising considering the amount of running I've done over the years as well as swimming and cycling in the last year.
Sarah has given me some exercises to do which will strengthen my leg, in the meantime I'm not running but will be spending time on swimming and cycling.

In light of the problem with my leg I've pulled out of the race I had planned for the beginning of August rather than run the risk of making the situation with the leg worse.

After thinking about it over the weekend and talking it through with Sarah it appears that all of this goes back to a marathon I did in 2007. Towards the end of the race I did a sprint past some of the supporters for the charity I was running for. About 100 yards later I pulled up with a sharp pain in my left thigh. Whatever I did healed itself but if Sarah is right then I've been favouring my left leg with the result that its remained weaker while my right leg has gotten stronger.

Hopefully, now that I know what is wrong I can work on putting it right and get back to doing something that I enjoy in time for some races next year.

Asda Price

I was in the supermarket last night, on my way home from work, picking up a few things. As I reached the self-service checkouts I happened to glance to my left and saw a couple of the staff talking with someone. Blonde wig, nice dress, didn't quite notice the shoes but they probably went with the dress nicely.
If only they had worn some make-up.
There was no mistaking it, it was a guy in a dress. No attempt at blending in.
I had to smile. Tempting as it was to go over and say hello, the place was heaving and I had to get back home in order to get back out.
As I was passing the pharmacy though I could see quite a few of the staff looking over and saying that they came in like that from time to time.
I'm sure that there were a few glances from other shoppers but nobody was causing any fuss. As you'd expect from a lot of the great British public they were just treating her like they would anyone else they thought was a bit eccentric.
I'd actually heard from some friends about this person and apparently when she is shopping she'll chat to anyone and everyone. Good for her I say.
I did look out for them when I was in the car park but no joy. It would have been nice to say hello and introduce myself.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Not a happy bunny

In October last year I entered a long distance triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26 mile run).
I started training in earnest for this in January.
My training hasn't been as good as I'd have liked it to be but I have managed to complete a number of races along the way which have shown that what training I have done has made sure that I should be able to get around the course within the required time.

I'm fortunate that within 15 minutes of running I can be on the outskirts of town and running on quite roads and lanes.
Yesterday I headed out for a planned 3 hour run. I headed out into the local countryside along a quite road before turning off with the intention of heading along a lane to one of the nearby villages before turning back and retracing my route.
One hour into the run and my left knee suddenly became painful.
Last year I had a problem with the same knee and saw a physiotherapist about it. He couldn't find anything mechanical wrong with it but between him and the lady who comes into work to give back massages it was discovered that the illio-tibial band in my left leg was very tight.
Jo, the lady at work, gave me some stretching exercises to do and told me to swim front crawl rather than my usual breaststroke, while the other physio told me not to run for 6 weeks.
Well things cleared up and I was able to start running again.
Up until now I've not had any problems although after a race a few weeks ago I had a sports massage and the woman that did the massage told me that the IT band in my right leg was a bit tight.
Yesterday for some reason the left knee decided to play up big time. In fact I managed to carry on running for another 20 minutes before I was reduced to walking in order to avoid doing any further damage and then phoned home to be picked up in the car.
The pain went as soon as I stopped running but last night having had to do a 20 minute walk to collect son from the club he goes to I could feel a few twinges in the knee.
Today I'm going to try and get an appointment with my GP, will be a good opportunity to update her on what's happening with my transitioning, and see if I can get a referal to someone to get the knee looked at.
The last thing I want is to have to stop running as the race I've spent this year getting ready for is only 5 weeks away. Of course I also don't want to do serious damage to my knee and end up not being able to run for even longer.
Hopefully this will be a minor hicup and not something serious.
Hopefully!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Pictures

Yesterday I needed to talk to L in personnel as I needed her to witness my signature on an application form.
Once we'd done that we chatted for a while about my son as he's managed to get his face plastered across the front of the local paper as publicity for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma society having done a charity cycle ride they organised. We had the photographer visit to take pictures Tuesday evening and I spoke with a reporter on the phone Tuesday morning to tell her about his medical history.

After L and I had finished chatting about him I took out 3 pictures that I had taken into work of me as Jenny. I wanted to show L what I looked like to that she was prepared for when I eventually go full time.

The first picture was of me when I visited Manchester last year, the second was from when I had the makeover with Zee and the final one was taken at home a couple of days before Sam and I met up.

L was impressed with all 3 pictures. She especially loved the way my hair looked in the one from Manchester, mainly because she has a similar hairstyle. She was impressed by both my figure and the way I dressed, in fact she said that I had a good sense of style, then asked where I got the one top.

L asked about the dress that I was wearing in the Manchester picture and told me that she couldn't get away with wearing leggings like I was wearing in the other picture.

Of course I'm now going to have to take other pictures of me in to show her at some point as she wants to see them.


I felt so happy by the time our chat finished. If L had been anymore complimentary I think I'd have cried.