Injection

1st injection

James had his 1st injection on July 8th by a friend.  It went really well.  My friend did it so quick that he didn’t realize it happened.  No side effects plus he wasn’t sore from it.  Great 1st injection day.

2nd injection

August 8th my friend could not give James his injection so he had to go to his pediatrician.  This was the first time James went to the pediatrician by himself.  Plus he had to get the injection.  He made it there on time and found it ok.  Usually, I drive him but this time he had to take TTC. James said the needle hurt more from the doctor then from our friend.  LOL  Again, no side effects but this time a bit of a sore leg. He did not have his period after this injection.

3rd injection 

My friend gave James this injection. There is nothing to say about this but all went well.

James comments – he was happy to start the injections. The doctor still hurt more. I like going to my mom friend. I love not having my period. This makes me feel mire like a male. Loving it!!

4th injection

We went to Sick Children’s Hospital for this injection.  James had to get blood taken to ensure his levels are good or this is what I think.  We had a chat with the Doctor.  The Doctor was asking James how he was doing plus was asking me how I thought he was doing plus the family.  All is going well with James.  The Doctor gave James the needle and said see you in 3 months.  James was happy that he gets the needle once every three months now.

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Sick Children’s Hospital

I will be putting two visits at Sick Children’s Hospital in one post.

Initial visit to the Gender Clinic.  We (James and I) meet with the Social Worker.  The Social Worker introduced the Doctor who will be seeing us.  The Social Worker told us the next step would be injections of the medicine leuprorelin. She gave us some information about it and said on our next visit we should tell them if we would like to proceed.  If I am correct, the medicine will stop James from going through female puberty.  They also explained on the next visit James would be having a physical which would in tale looking at his development of breast and pubic hair.  The clinic needs to know how far along he is in puberty.  They also gave us a requisition for blood work and X-ray on his hand.  Both of these also tell them how far along in puberty he is.  Asked if we had any questions.  It was a very short visit but informative.

Before our next visit to Sick Children’s Hospital we (James, James dad, and myself) all looked over the information about leuprorelin.  James was not happy it was an injection but thought he could suck it up.  James is totally in for this.  I have my doubts and his dad is not in agreement.  He finally agrees with resistance.

Next visit to Sick Children’s

The doctor looked at James pubic hair and breast development behind a curtain while I was in the room.  I think the Social Work was in the room behind the curtain as well.  James was really good at this.  Like any other kid, he was nervous about this.

The doctor and Social Worker asked if we looked over the information for leuprorelin and and asked if we had any questions. Things were going along well until the doctor handed me the prescription.  I could feel my eyes tear up but I held it back.  It really hit home more when he handed the prescription to me.   I know this is silly but it was a terrible moment for me.  James was ok with it.

The doctor told us for the next three months once a month he will be getting this injection.  We can go to our family doctor or a clinic to get it done.  Luckily, we have a friend that knows how to give needles.

We have a follow up visit in three months with the doctor.  Before we go in October, blood work has to be done.

James comments – he said he was nervous for examination and hated the idea of a needle. He was excited to start the process and transitioning even more.  

Going Out

You would think this is no big deal.  We have done this many times as a family but never with a transchild.  I never gave this any thought.

I am going to lump my experiences thus far in this one post.  I don’t recall which came first but I guess it really doesn’t matter.

Cinpelex (Cineplex)……..depending what Cineplex location you go to things could be fine or not.  The location in Brampton (SilverCity Brampton Cinemas) was not problems because they have a handicapped bathroom.  No problem.  Silly me thought this wouldn’t be a problem at other locations – WRONG.  We went to a location in downtown Toronto (Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP), we encountered a problem.  The handicapped bathrooms are located inside the gender bathrooms.  James isn’t comfortable going into the ladies and doesn’t want to use men’s by himself yet.  I also don’t feel comfortable.  I hunted down a manager and explained my problem.  They could not come up with a solution so we had to walk to Ryerson University (Ryerson University) to go to the bathroom.  Thank goodness it was not far away.  Does this sound silly?  Why don’t they have a bathroom that trans can use?  Is this fair?  I don’t have all the answers to these question but it definitely annoyed me.

Tucker’s Marketplace (Tucker’s Marketplace)……..we went to the airport location.  AMAZING, nothing but AMAZING.  I spoke to the manager who was on and she didn’t know the solution at that moment but a few minutes later came back with one.  There were two managers on duty – one female and the other male.  One of the managers kept looking into the men’s washroom and when it was empty – one of the managers got us.  The managers ACTUALLY closed the bathroom until he was done.  They both made sure nobody went in and I waited outside with the managers.  They both were so accommodating and I felt they went over and above.  By chance, the President of the company was there and I spoke with him for a few minutes.  He was so nice and understanding. This was the best experience yet.

James  comments – he was so happy with the Tucker’s Marketplace experience. He was not happy with the Cineplex experience.  He has an app on his phone that is called Refuge Restroom which helps a lot. You need WIFI for this app.

Shopping

James was so excited when we went shopping for some boys clothes.  He was going to Ottawa for a school trip and need some new clothes.  I was dreading this day.  I put on a happy face because I knew James was excited. This was our first shopping trip since he came out.  Sigh

We had to buy a binder, shorts and t-shirts.  For the binder we went to Come As You Are (Come As You Are) plus Bluenotes’ (Bluenotes’).

The person at Come As You Are (Come As You Are) was truly amazing.  They helped James and I buy a binder plus a swim top.  Come As You Are is also a sex shop.  This shocked me.  James got to try on various binders plus swim tops.  I cried while James tried on binders and swim tops.  The person at the counter understood which was amazing. This was a wonderful experience. The person at the counter said it was so nice to see a parent coming with their child.  I did ask them many questions about binders and swim tops which they answered without hesitation.  This was a very good experience.  We will have to go back again to buy more binders.

Next was lunch at The Burger’s Priest (The Burger’s Priest).  It was nice to have lunch with James, as we don’t get to have lunch together.  At lunch we talked about our experience at Come As You Are.

Onto Bluenotes’ (Bluenotes’) now for shorts and t-shirts. James headed right to the boys section and within minutes found shorts and t-shirts.  I made him try them on.  He was so excited and in his element. We ended up buying him shorts, t-shirts and a bathing suit.

He was exhausted from shopping so we went right home.  He showed his dad all his new items with excitement.  I went to my room and cried.  I guess because it was real.  I know this sounds silly but it hit me hard.

Later that night James dad and myself went out for gas and I told him how hard it was for me. When I was telling James dad about the day, the tears came out again.  I was morning the lose of my little girl but gaining a son.

This was such an emotional day but it was so nice to see James so happy.  He has found himself and is comfortable with himself.  I am so proud of him.  I think it is hard for people to be comfortable with themselves never mind being trans.  I am still learning to be comfortable with me as a 47 year old women.

James comments – he said that was a good day because he finally got some boys clothes of his own. He use to “borrow” his older brothers tops. We also wondered where they all went.  He could finally dress the way he wanted and was very comfortable. He enjoyed the day very much.

James Coming Out at School Plus Telling Family and Close Friends

James told us that he wanted to come out fully at school so we told him it was fine.  Around the same time I sent an email to our family and close friends. James had approved the email that I was going to send out.

When James came home, I asked how things went at school.  He said it was fine and the class clapped for him.  I told him if he ever runs into trouble, tell a teacher, principal, or the office.  He then told me that his school has trans bathrooms that he has been using.  I remember thinking WOW what a great school and so progressive.James at this time did go to a small school that had 30 grade eight kids.  He went to graduation wearing black dress pants, white shirt, and blue tie.  He looked so handsome.  I was tearing up. I then emailed the teachers plus principal and office staff saying I give them permission to call him James and that he will be handing in work with this name on it. Everyone at the school was so supportive.  He lost no friends.  I was so relieved at this.

Below is the email that I sent out to family and close friends. I wish I could take credit for this great idea but I cannot.  I saw this on a website or documentary or interview that I saw when I did my initial research of what exactly is transgender.  I worked on this email for MANY days.  I cannot tell you how many times I revised it.James approved this.

” Hi Everyone –

You are receiving this email as you are family or a close friend.

I am writing to you to inform you about something that is personal in nature, but will result in some changes.

Sara has told us that she is transgender. The name she goes by is James and would like to be referred to as he.

We will not be answering any questions. We love our child, stand behind this decision, and are proud.

We are trying to create a safe place for James in our home plus the homes he visits.

I know this may take time for you to understand and hope that you can support us in this transition.

Love,

James Parents”

We were so surprised by the amount of support we received.  We received phone calls and emails almost immediately. This was such a relief.

James comments – he told me that he cried when he told his entire class.  He finds it funny how he cried telling his class but not the close friends and family.

Doctors Appointments

From here on out, everything seems to be a blurb as things happened so fast.  I don’t remember dates which is ok but wished I would have kept better track.  Live and learn I guess.

Pediatrician Appointment

James pediatrician talked to both James and I at first and then he wanted to speak with James alone.  It seemed like forever but I am sure it was 5 – 10 minutes.  James and I then both talked to the doctor.  In summary, the pediatrician suggested that he has only had a handful of patients that have come out (I liked his honesty) and he would refer us to Sick Children’s Hospital to a clinic there.  I told him that we already had an appointment in the next few days at Sick Children’s Hospital in the Teen Clinic.  The pediatrician was happy with that.  If there was anything else we needed, please let him know.

This visit was very emotional.  I did cry at the doctors office but it was ok.  James did see me cry and I know this upsets him.  I tried not to cry because I don’t like to upset him.  I explained to him that I was feeling overwhelmed plus this is all new and scare.  I know nothing about this at all.  I definitely know more now then before.

Teen Clinic

James, his dad, and myself all went to the Sick Kids appointment. James dad still thinks it is a phase.

We meet with James Teen Clinic doctor and he did his usual follow up.  He then asked if there was anything else that we wanted to tell him.  I started to cry instantly.  I was glad he had kleenex in his office.  (Do you have the impression that I cry a lot?  More is yet to come.)  We explained what James was feeling.  Once again he meet with James alone and brought us in after speaking with James.  He then said he was not an expert about this, would we mind if he introduced us to someone that.  We agreed. He brought in a Social Worker to speak with all of us and asked if we had any questions.  I did.  I asked about him going to the washroom.  We discussed what makes James feel comfortable and which one did he want to go into.  He said the men bathroom and my heart sank.  I think because this is all becoming real.  The Social Worker said if James dad was with him for him to go until James feels more comfortable.  She pointed out the he can use the handicapped or family bathroom.  She reiterated that safety and comfort is the main objective.  I thought this was the end of the conversation.  How I was wrong!!!  She then asked if James was wearing a binder.  James said yes and bought is second hand.  (I forgot to tell you that James and his friend went to a store and bought a used binder before he came out to us.)  James dad and myself were shocked.  We had no idea.  The Social Worker and James went to the other end of the hall and James tried on binders that fit him.  This is a great service just so James knows how it should fit.  We couldn’t buy it there for him but they told us where to go.  They told us to go to Come As You Are ( Come As You Are).  James knew what kind he wanted and style.  We made a follow-up appointment with the Social Worker.

We learnt that some trans-children try and take their own life.  I am so proud of James that he didn’t.  I cannot tell you what a great feeling this is.  I know odd, right??  I have asked him this so many times.  I was so proud of him.

The most important piece of information that we received was to follow James lead.  Check to make sure he is comfortable with the steps we were about to take.  For example: telling close friend and family, contacting his current school, contacting his high school.  I even checked with him about this blog.  If we are not too sure about something, we asked James.  I know this is “simple” information but it makes sense now more than ever.

As I said James is ready to hit the ground running.  James dad and I need to catch up with him.  On the car ride home, he turns and says. “Mom when can we go shopping for the binder and new clothes.”  I said, “this weekend.”  My heart sank.

Looking back, I think James dad and I were shocked at how much research James had done before coming out to us.  He bought a binder with a friend, decided this is who he is, downloaded an app that indicates trans bathrooms, plus came out to a few friends and us.  Wow what an amazing kid and he was ok with everything.  James has been a sick child and we went to the Teen Clinic A LOT but after he came out, all his medical issues went away.  I think the medical issues were from the stress.  Even the Teen Doctor said James seems to be doing so much better.  James is so much more happier and has more energy.  Its amazing.  He still has to take iron pills but who cares.  My son is alive and doing great.

I am so proud of James dad for coming to this appointment.  He had to take time off work plus this is hard for him.  In the coming days, I will be more impressed with him.  What a great dad that he is.

James comments – it was great trying on binders at Sick Kids plus doing it with a professional.

Making Doctors Appointments

I called James pediatrician that night and left a message.  In the message, I told them why I wanted to see the doctor and if possible, asap.  I was thinking that this appointment would not happen for a few weeks as it is so hard to get an appointment.  To my surprise, they called me the next day and we go an appointment the in two days.

I had an appointment at Sick Kids Hospital then next week at the Teen Clinic already scheduled.  The process  was in motion or what I thought the process was. 

It was so easy leaving a message but I was wondering how I would be at the appointments.

I cried a lot that night.  It wasn’t because I was upset but overwhelmed.  I was trying to picture what life would be like for him.  I knew there would be challenges and I couldn’t always be there to protect him.  I just wanted him to be safe.  I want both of my sons to be safe.