Author Archive: stevielounicks

There was light in the sky, now there’s only the dark

Yes, I’ve rather cribbed the lyrics of the very obvious video to fit in with tonights blog. I did think about something like the ‘Darkness over the US’, but some might have thought that was about politics lol! Mind, dear Donald is such an idiot that be probably thinks tomorrows eclipse is more fake news from us moderates, and lefties lol!

A wonderful woman I know (though only in an online sense) told me today that tomorrow will be the first total solar eclipse to pass over the entire US since Independence in 1776! So yes, been a while! I remember the one here in the UK in 1999, though the only way I saw the total eclipse was on TV, as it passed through the South West corner of the UK, and even though I was in Somerset, that wasnt enough for the total version, though it did get pretty close, all the same.

The lady I know is driving up to Wyoming to get to the total eclipse zone, from her home in Colorado, I hope she has a safe trip, and a wonderful time. Apparently the solar eclipse is seen as a portal for change, and liberation, but lets stay away from US politics lol! It seems some of this will be seen in the UK, just before sunset, though better in the north of Scotland, than here in Yorkshire, because it stays light longer up there at this time of year, but I should get something, which will be nice. To quote her, re the eclipse

Once darkness passes over the sun and is cast aside like an old cloak, allowing brightness to shine forth again, who will you be?

No, I dont expect to come out of the eclipse, looking like Clara (Elaine) Johnson, or Jean Harlow, or the robot from Metropolis, but never say never, lol. In truth, at the moment, it might be handy if I come out the other side as a woman more comfortable with the fact that she’s going to need a wheelchair to get her through all the airports when I fly to, and from the US in 3 weeks time, for starters! I know, not my fault that my body is starting to fall apart, but all the same…I must admit, it will be an interesting experience, all the same, but still wish I didnt need to do it!

Seemingly the next total eclipse in the UK isnt until 2090, so definitely wont be around for that! There is a pretty good (over 90%) eclipse in 2026, which I might just manage, though whether I’ll be spending more time in a wheelchair by then, who knows? Or maybe I’ll change tomorrow, into a young Elaine Johnson, and get myself a role dancing in theaters? Yes, I know which I think is more likely lol!

Right, video time. Yes, the very obvious one. I decided, perhaps rashly to try and find a live version of this, and found this one from this year. Yes, not surprisingly, Bonnie’s voice isnt what it used to be. But if you want to give it a try?

Oh fine, for those who prefer the original…? Or simply love the Jim Steinman orchestration as much as I do?

Does A Doctor Contemplate My Fate?

Well, indirectly, though they wont know about it at the time,yes, they will.

Assuming that the fairly obvious is correct, and after the bone density scan, they do decide that my issue with my back is osteoporosis related, there are a couple of fairly obvious supplements I could be given to try and ease, and hopefully cure the issue, to some degree at least. One is calcium supplements, which would help to strengthen the bone, which I’m pretty sure is needed. The other one, and more relevant to this blog, is (o)estrogen supplements, as would be given to menopausal women under these circumstances. Yes, I’m sort of doing the double spelling thing here, as both options seem equally used, though I will settle for the estrogen version from now on, when writing this. In fact, its quite possible, and some say quite likely that I will get both!

One thing I’ve always said is that if the situation arose, where I felt the need, or desire to have the actual Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), then I would get it done. In truth, the main reason I’ve put myself off it, is the surgery issue, I’m not one of those people who love pain, in that sense at least! So given I have no sexual desires, and no partner, or potential partner who wants to get close in that way with me, I’ve passed on the matter, up to now.

But yes, I have had a think about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if a doctor, or group of doctors think I should be on estrogen supplements, then maybe I should take that as a hint that I really ought to take that last step to womanhood after all. I know, its still going to hurt, but I’m not sure it could be much more hellish than the pain I went through before getting on serious painkillers for the fracture in my back. And hey, lets face it, if anyone ever actually enters my new vagina sexually, I will be amazed. But yes, going to meet my maker, as a proper woman, it would be nice, I must admit.

But equally, I’m not going to be the one that actually makes the decision for me, as in truth, I’ve got a life now that suits me fine. All my paperwork says I’m a woman, and thats the main thing for me, but all the same…? So yes, if I get put on estrogen supplements, for my osteoporosis, I’m going to take that as a signal from a doctor, or ‘higher person’ that I really ought to become a woman for real. I know, a proper get out, but at least this way, I know its destiny, if it happens, which is fine by me.

I suspect its fair to say that therefore, a number of people will be hoping that the doctors do decide to put me on estrogen, so I go ahead and do it. There might be one or two hoping otherwise, but I suspect the vast majority who know me, and know about me would love to see me do it. Hell, I’d probably be glad I did it, after its done, but just at the moment, yes, the pain issue concerns me!

But yes, if in about 6 weeks time, or so, I announce that the decision is estrogen supplements for me, and I try to get out of this, dont let me! An angel will have contemplated my fate, made that decision for me, so…it will be done! Mind, unless someone wants to pay for me to do it privately, the length of time it might take on the NHS, well who knows when it will actually happen lol?

Oh fine, I might have given a couple of clues to the video here. This is a delightful live version, from the concert in Manchester that happened after the awful events there at a concert earlier this year.

Take it easier

One thing I’d been suspecting for a while, was that trying to carry on with life, as I was before the back issue, wasnt really a practical option. I’ve been trying to do just that, but yes, what I hoped I could do, and what I can actually do, two different things!

No, I havent had to cut out the sky diving, the deep sea diving, or anything like that, you understand. The first has never ever appealed, and though I might have fancied the latter when I was much younger, its past me now. In fact, most energetic things are past me now, even before the back quite literally fell apart.

No, in this case, its work! Even on strong painkillers, and steroid cream, my recovery time for more than a couple of days at work isnt good at present. So yes, on Friday morning, which would be my 3rd day in a row at work (Tuesday being my day off for week, working on Saturday), even after all the treatments, I still hurt a bit. And by now, I’m getting practical about the issue, its recovery time I need. In truth, I suspect as much of the issue is the bus seats to, and from work, but yes, work would play a part too.

So I decided to ask a question, and see if I could ease the load. So on Friday, I asked my team leader, very nicely, if it was possible, just temporarily, hopefully, to cut back to a 4 day week. Obviously it wasnt just her decision to make, especially in the Civil Service, but I was told to leave the matter with her, which is as much as I hoped for. Anyway, to cut a long story short, yesterday afternoon, it was all sorted out, and for the next 12 weeks, including this one, I’m doing a 4 day week! So much is said about work life, but I have nothing but praise for my workplace, for sure.

Mind, tomorrow might be fun at work. Have now used the last of my strong painkillers, and I rang the surgery today, hoping that I could go along and get a new prescription straightaway, but will be tomorrow afternoon before I can get it, or in my case now, Thursday morning. I have got some, but about half the strength, so tomorrow might be, err, fun!

In other related matters, I am now the proud owner of 2 back braces, or will be when they arrive! Yes, Ebay moment lol! One is just a simple brace, which supposedly has lots of magnets in it, which is supposed to be good for you, or so the people trying to sell it tell me! Snag is, after I pushed the button to buy, I discovered that its a Chinese company, supposedly located in London, so how good it will be, no idea? But fine, its cheap, so…

I also bought a corset type one, which thankfully involves zipping yourself in, not lots of tying yourself in, because lets face it, I’m useless at things like that! It claims it will give me a sexier waist too, but I’ll believe that when I see it. But who knows, a bit more of an hourglass figure lol…?

Right, video time. Fine, its depressing, as this is 40 years old, and I remember the song when it first came out. But what I need to do, at least until I get my back sorted out, is…

Is that all it takes?

Much though I hate doing politics, there are times when events happen that just cannot be ignored.

Yes, this weekend in Charlottesville, is the subject I cant ignore. I probably would have diplomatically avoided it, but for the death of one person, ran down by one of the extreme right wingers involved in this ghastly event, and the way that Trump has tried to avoid blaming the ghastly right wing people involved in this, because lets face it, he pretty much supports them! It seems that even after being advised to condemn them, that he couldnt do it! Too busy trying to start a nuclear war with North Korea to care, I guess? Sorry, but thats two people with the IQ, and temperament of infants, playing with very dangerous toys!

My sympathies to the family of poor woman who died, and to all those injured by that idiot yesterday. I only hope he gets punished as he should, but with Trump, and his right wing pals in control, I fail to be convinced of that. But I hope its the case.

The other depressing incident I have to report today, revolves around the fans of a certain NFL team I sort of follow, the Buffalo Bills. Though how much longer I want to follow them, if this is the way the other fans think, I’m not sure?

Yesterday, Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland (for now at least) Raiders, sat through the National Anthem, in support of Colin Kaepernick, amongst others. Kaepernick being the quarterback who knelt through said Anthem last year, in protest at police violence, and has since been seemingly black balled by every NFL team because of it. Given some of the names getting contracts as back up quarterbacks, there is no other good reason, I have to say. Let me add, that its not the first time Lynch has done this, but…some would make you believe it was.

Anyway, if I say that one of the more ‘polite’ comments (and sadly, I’m not being facetious) involved Lynch being so filled with lead that they couldnt put him back together to bury him, it shows what a depressing state of events is prevalent in parts of the US at present. Yes, seriously, there is a difference between being proud of your country, and being a dangerous person, and too many seem to have crossed the line to the latter, now.

No, I’m not a lily livered leftie, before you ask. I see myself as a sane moderate, but yes, some of these people scare me, a lot!

Fine, video time. A song about a massacre by the KKK, surely not? Yes, you got it! An OMD song that not many will know, for sure.

Brace yourself for the news

Yesterday was a funny sort of day. Sort of carried on today, but anyway…

Sadly, it was funny, but not in a good way. It was one of those cool, damp days that this British summer has specialized in, and yes, when you’ve got joint issues, thats not a good thing. The fact that my anti inflammatory steroid cream was on the end of its supply probably meant I was trying to ease up on the use of it, but whatever, my back wouldnt stop aching yesterday, even on painkillers, and using up the last of the cream.

So eventually I had to bite the bullet, and having done the necessary part of the day to avoid it counting as a sick day, I gave in, and came home. Only via the pharmacy, where I got a different formula cream, of a similar kind, and yes, fingers crossed, issue seems to have eased. Not going to be perfect until after scan, and properly medicated, but…

One thing that was awaiting me when I got home was a letter from the NHS. Yes, I needed to ring up and make an appointment for my bone density examination scan, good news. Well, so I thought, but…I was too late to ring up last night, I got home about 4.45 pm, but they shut at 4.30! So, with it being my day off today, I rang this morning instead. After the traditional lengthy wait, I finally got through to the booking office, went through my details, and then she said,

“Our first available appointment is…”

Now dont get me wrong, I wasnt expecting anything very immediate, this is the NHS we’re talking about, but I was thinking a couple of weeks or so, but…

“…Friday September 8th at 11.00!”

Fortunately its the last day before I go to the US, but I’m going to have to mess with plans, as I was planning to get my hair colored, and styled for my holiday that morning, before the rest of my body got sorted out in the afternoon. Now I’m probably going to have to get it done on the Tuesday, which is OK, but not perfect. But no, my main problem is that it means I will not be ‘sorted out’ before I go on holiday to the US for a week, and a bit.

Yes, I’ll survive, though I now have the issue that no cure will have started before the wedding, on my 2nd Saturday away, which will involve some standing still, which is the only real issue I have, as mentioned before. What I’m planning to do is wear a back brace, or a corset, as a back support, and hope that does the job!

The funny related fact today was that a guy came round asking if I would do a survey, and wonderful irony, a few of the questions related to the NHS! Yes, lets say I might not have been their biggest fan lol! I know, I wont have to pay for the service directly, but I do in my taxes, so all in all…Yes, if I had the money, I’d probably get it done privately, and I bet I wouldnt have to wait nearly 5 weeks for that! Ah well…No, I couldnt wear brace for flights, because the internal stuff to brace my back is made of metal! Fine, I’d enjoy it if I was made of metal, but anyway…

Right, video time. Given its a radiology department I will need to go to (in Bradford, ironically, as if I never travel there), I thought of this new OMD song. Fine its Isotype, not Isotope, but close enough! 😛

Come on, and look at me!

One thing I’ve often heard said by disabled people, especially those in wheelchairs, is that a large number of people either tend to look away, or look over them, trying to pretend they’re not really there. In honesty, I’ve got to the point where I nearly always try to acknowledge them, even if only briefly in passing, simply to prove that I do know they’re there, and are happy to be seen with them.

The other group of people that I always try to acknowledge in a friendly way, are Muslim women wearing either the Niqab, or occasionally the Burqa, simply to show that I want to be friendly, and supportive of them, unlike sadly too many people nowadays. One thing I enjoy about Bradford is that nearly everybody I see, if not approving of such wear, at least doesnt react in a bad way. Mind, that might be because I only really see it being worn in the city center, though hopefully not the case.

But until now at least, the one thing I’ve never discovered is what life is like on the other side of the issue. Yes, I’d be fascinated to know what life is like inside of the Niqab, or Burka, and show my support for Muslim women who wear it that way, but I suspect its too complex a religious matter for it to ever happen. But yes, it would be both fascinating, and probably informative to spend a day wearing the Niqab, and seeing how people react to those wearing it. Probably only brave enough to do it somewhere like Bradford, or similar community, if going out, but as a whole, just seeing what life dressed like that would be a fascinating experience, and probably one that if more people tried it, we might have a lot less religious issues in the world too.

Yes, I am saying that if someone offers me the chance to wear Niqab, or Burka, either privately, or outside, then I would love to do it. And if it can be done in a way that brings up positive publicity for Muslim women, then so much the better!

Equally, fortunately, up to now, I’ve never known what its like to spend time in a wheelchair. I must have done as a child, when my knees were wrecked at the age of 9 or 10, but you dont expect me to remember that, do you? But at least on that point, in 5-6 weeks time, I’m going to get to see how people react to me in a wheelchair. Will they look me in the face, and be supportive, or will they try to pretend I’m not really there, hmm?

Yes, I have to be practical about my flights in a few weeks time. Currently I can walk to a pretty reasonable degree, and I can sit down without too many pain issues, though how much of that is currently clouded by painkillers, I have no idea! However, the one thing I cant do at present for more than a few minutes, is stand still. And yes, while the check in queue, and the security check queue will require some standing in line, you usually move along at regular intervals, which may, or may not be sufficient for my back not to lock up completely. However, when it comes to the queue at Boston, to go through Immigration principally, and Customs to a lesser degree, is that you tend to stand in 1 place, in a queue, for far longer than that. Now it is possible that in 5 weeks time, my back may be less of an issue, but until I’m on proper medication, I wouldnt like to bank on that. Even if on proper medication, I dont want to be confident on that, and not sure we will reach that point in 5 weeks, anyway.

So yes, today I’ve bitten the bullet (you have to give a minimum of 2 weeks warning, but being realistic, I’m not going to improve dramatically in 3 weeks), and requested assistance from the airline for my travels through the airports. Yes, I know I need it, but that doesnt stop the guilt factor, when I can walk reasonably well, but thats just my nature, I guess?

But yes, it will be fascinating to see how ‘fit people’ react to this ‘poor old lady’ in a wheelchair, I must say. So yes, if on 9th September, at Manchester Airport (or Boston later that day), you see a middle aged lady in a wheelchair, be nice to her, it might just be me! Yes, same plan booked for JFK flying back on evening of 18th, just saying…I wonder?

Right, video time. No, I have no plans to be wearing this while sat in my wheelchair, though it might be fun if I was! But yes, feel free to look at me, all the same!

Its a white rose day!

I must admit, I think that nowadays there is a mass over abundance of ‘days’ for various things, varying from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous. For me, this falls somewhere in between.

For reasons best known to others, and not to me, today seemingly is Yorkshire Day, and given thats where I live, and work, it would be remiss not to mention it. No, I have no idea why the 1st August was chosen for this, if there is any special significance, or it was just picked at random, just because…?

I spent the first few years of my life intermittently in Yorkshire, given my father was in the Navy, and based at Chatham Dockyard (down south, lol), but then when I was about 3, or 4, the family moved down to Kent officially, and that was that! Which sadly explains my accent, in that my educative years, I was developing a Southern accent, not a Yorkshire one, as I should have done!

And then finally, about 43 years or so later, I finally became a Yorkshire resident again, after all that time, and addresses all over the country. No, I’m not saying I’m not moving away ever again, because lets face it, if I got the chance to move to LA, I’d probably leap at the chance! Or indeed, work in the US for a while, which is less likely at my age, but who knows?

But for now, I’ll stay in my home county, and see where the rest of life takes me, I guess? But I suspect, unless something amazing happens in my life, its probably where it will end too. Ironically, no, I wasnt actually born in the county. My parents were down south when I decided it was time to be born, so my passport actually has me born in Kent. But in every other sense, I’m a Yorkshire lass, and proud of it.

Right, video time. Had to be a Yorkshire artist tonight, didnt it? Probably not the most famous one of all time, but I love the feel of the video, so went with this one regardless.

Well, if I have to take estrogen supplements?

Yes, fine, to keep people updated on matters…

Initially, as reported in the last blog, the view from the Doctor’s surgery, post X-Rays, was to wait a few weeks, see how things settled down, and then decide what the next step from there would be. I’m assuming that was based on what the hospital told them, and that a couple of days later, they saw the X-Rays for themselves, because when I came home from work on Thursday (Yes, now its kicked in, the medication is fine to allow me to go back), I got a message that the surgery had been trying to contact me, and I needed to ring them the next morning. No, it wasnt hard to work out what it was about, lets face it. Anyway, a few minutes before I was going to ring them, they rang me, and told me that having discussed the matter (and I assume, seeing the results for themselves), they had already decided to refer me for a bone scan.

I know, doesnt sound good, does it? Not surprised, but anyway…

Of course, one of the more fascinating options, if it does show as osteoporosis (and this referral is rushed, if they dont think it is), would be to put me on estrogen supplements, to try and build bone density, as they do with post menopausal women, which lets face it, I pretty much am! Yes, I would, given the opportunity, no surprise there.

The thing is, having got all my papers nowadays as female, but being very single, and being unlikely to find myself in a relationship, and not being a lover of unnecessary pain, or surgery, I had sort of decided that I wasnt going to ‘bob the bits’, or more technically correctly, go in for the sex reassignment surgery, which strictly would be the final step. Even more so, given the body is clearly in even worse condition than I thought it was lol! No, I dont think they’d do the knees/back/genitalia combo all as one!

But all the same, it did start me thinking, that if, and at this point, it is only an if, pre bone scan results, I did start loading up with estrogen supplements, should I take all this as a hint that I really ought to get my body changed, so that everything is fully female? Let me say at this point, I will only even consider this, if I do get to take estrogen tablets for osteoporosis, as otherwise, I’m pretty fine as am. But yes, I do wonder if this is a hint from ‘higher authorities’ that I should be doing the full transition, hmm?

Not saying yes, not saying no, but I suspect I would take less convincing if the seemingly inevitable happened, to take that big last step. But yes, at my age, and state of health, that surgery might still put me off! 😛

Right, video time. There are some great songs, that no matter how I try, an I going to be able to directly link into a blog, and tonight I’ve decided to provide one of those, as I cant think of anything that obviously fits, that I havent used before. So, a little classic Roxy Music, live…

Why dont you build me up?

If only to stop me from disintegrating completely lol!

Much to my surprise, and judging by her reaction, the nurse’s surprise too, they got the results of my X-Rays back today. Yes, basically I’m old, and my body is showing its age, in the disintegration of my back. It seems I have got a wedge fracture at the bottom of my thoracic spine, which has been caused by weakening of the bone in my spine. Or as it could also be called, osteoporosis. Which all comes down to the fact that I’m getting old, and the fact that my body has been battered a bit during life hasnt helped of course. So in truth, short of someone actually creating that new cybernetic body that I dream of, there isnt a lot they can do. But if anyone is researching such a thing, and needs a volunteer to try it out on, call me!

So, outcome for now, to leave it a few weeks, and see if it stays much the same, gets better, gets worse, and then take things from there. More painkillers, more steroid cream for now, and then review. I also need to try and do something to get my colon more active again, which may have been started because of this, which may have caused some of this, or might simply be a side issue, but yes, needs to be dealt with.

Yes, work knows, I rang them shortly after I found out from surgery, though I suspect most of bosses had gone home by then. I’m planning to go in tomorrow, though how well it will work with a standard seat, I have no idea? Even more the bus journey, but anyway…? Ideally I need a seat that will take all the pressure off my back, of which I have no idea if that exists, or not? I suspect a non gravity chamber is only in the range of science fiction lol!

But yes, its official, I’m getting old, and my body is determined to prove it! Anyone got a spare back brace laying around lol?

Video, like me, a real oldie. The record is from 1968, though this live performance is from the 80’s, and quite good. So…

If I could look inside you?

Before Friday, I cant honestly remember the last time I had an X-Ray done. My best guess would be about 30 years ago, when I was trying to climb into an attic, against my better judgement, and didnt make it, tumbled down again, falling down a long set of stairs, and the next thing I knew, was in the ambulance on the way to Yeovil hospital, to be checked over. Irony was, they checked me out accordingly for concussion, or head injuries symptoms, and completely missed the fact that I’d broken a toe on my left foot.

By the time it hadnt healed 3 weeks later, and I went to the doctor about it, went back up the hospital to get that X-Rayed, and discovered, it had already healed, though not correctly, which is why, to this day, one of the toes on my left foot looks so awful. It came down to the fact that trying to break it again, in the same place, then have it heal correctly, not really practical, unless I had serious issues with it. Never did, so its remained as an ugly reminder of that evening, ever since.

To be honest, with all I’ve heard of the NHS of late, I had no idea how long it would all take. I know, a set of X-Rays doesnt take that long, but throw in all the waiting time, and everything, and…in truth, I was out, more or less an hour after I entered the hospital, which I thought was pretty good. Yes, I know, me and tying knots, not a good combination, so the gown stayed pretty loose.

X-Rays done in 2 positions, I have no idea how many pictures taken, but I was laying there, especially on my back for a while, so I assume several were taken. Then changed back, bus home, and that was it. Doctor at Surgery had told me to allow about 2 weeks for results, hospital said about 1 week, but I will probably leave it nearer 2, all the same.

Yes, one of those scanners where they slide you in, and then do things would have been far more fun for me, but not to be, just a good old fashioned standard imaging machine, ah well… I’m pretty sure of 1 thing, it will be less than 30 years before I get X-Rayed again, as I’m certain they will take images of my knees, before the inevitable surgery, which I’m still trying to put off lol! But until then…?

The video is one of those feel good songs from the 80’s, by a group that never really made it, beyond this hit.