Cancer sucks; K update

I don’t even know what to say, so stream-of-consciousness time I guess.

My mother continues to decline. She is down to 70 pounds, more or less, and my Dad said for a few days last week she was losing a pound a day. She will probably be going in to Hospice this week so their nutritionists can work on a diet for her, because she hasn’t been eating enough to keep her strength up. She is still trying to walk around on her own, which is scary because she is very unsteady on her feet, and sometimes her hips give out on her. She’s very lucky she hasn’t fallen yet. My ex-to-be said she seems to be getting around okay, and I said yes, she gets around just fine right up until she doesn’t. She needs to start using the walker…the Hospice nurse didn’t order that in just to serve as a decorative element in the corner of the living room.

Daddy sent around an email a few days ago–Friday–saying she’d been spitting up blood that morning. My Aunt (Mama’s sister, a retired nurse) and I both responded asking if they’d called anyone to report this, and his answer was, “No, we just figure it’s par for the course.” I’m wondering if he’s thinking clearly.

I talked to her this morning, and she said Daddy had come back from exercise (he goes every day since open-heart surgery three years ago) feeling dizzy, so they’d had “a bite to eat” which for her was probably literal, and now he’s napping. Apparently he’s been forgetting a medication he’s supposed to be taking. She said she isn’t feeling well, that she is very tired and has very little appetite. I think at this point it would be good for her to spend a few days at Hospice, although I worry about my Dad being by himself, because she does help him with remembering things.

I spent a little time talking with the Hospice nurse, and she offered to go see Mama tomorrow rather than later in the week. My aunt will be there, which is good, because I’d like them to meet.

While all this is going on, we did get a bright spot of new “stuff” happening for K. She is going to be starting on some new medications, which should initiate further physical change and development to move her further along in her transition. I’m pretty excited for her because of that, but also because of this:

http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/federal-employee-health-plans-will-no-longer-exclude-transition-related-hea

…which means surgery will be covered! SO thankful for this!

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Why K is not okay

Transgender people may be eligible for diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID) “only if [being transgender] causes distress or disability.”[69] This distress is referred to as gender dysphoria and may manifest as depression or inability to work and form healthy relationships with others. … Moreover, GID is not necessarily permanent and is often resolved through therapy and/or transitioning.

“Transgender” article, Wikipedia

I mentioned K isn’t okay, but not why. Here’s why. She isn’t able to work because she isn’t able to leave the house unless she is with a family member. She is immersed in the personas and worlds she escapes into via video games and the internet. She is on Tumblr and has found a community there she’s comfortable with, but she doesn’t really actively participate. She does a lot of reading and reblogging but she doesn’t communicate directly with anyone. She’s fine on the surface, but right underneath that thin veneer, she’s severely depressed.

K has canceled two of her last three psychiatric appointments at the last minute; she really doesn’t like going. She says she usually just spends the appointments talking about video games. I have no idea how to go about getting her to open up and start talking about herself. I don’t want her to feel pressured, but I want her to make progress. Whenever I bring up anything having to do with real life, she changes the subject. Occasionally she will bring things up herself, but I have to play it carefully because if I seem too excited or eager to continue the conversation, she clams up. I get teensy glimpses, once in a great while. I’m learning a whole new definition of patience.

I hope to see her start opening up more this year. The end of June will mark a year since she started on hormone therapy, and that’s going well. Maybe we’ll be able to get her to the point where she can start attending some sort of group session, and interact with other people who are dealing with the same kinds of issues. I think that could really help move her forward, but so far she continues to resist. It must be a great fear in her and I wish there were some way to break through that. I think it’s going to be a long, long road.

Any ideas?