Author Archives: Cymraes Bach

2015 – Health update and return to work

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! / Happy New Year 2015

So, here we are in a new year. 2014 has gone and 2015 is here. This is the first time I have had to update my personal blog since December. The reason being, I have been without a personal computer, since my previous laptop failed to load Firefox and thusly, I was not able to access the internet. The only way that I could access the internet was by using my mobile, but using my phone is impractical to write a blog on. Anyway, I have my dad’s 3-year-old laptop and I can start writing again….Hwre! So here goes….

In my previous blog post, I gave an update on how I was coping with costochondritis. I can happily report at this point of time; I am feeling so much better and far fitter than I was at the end of the second week last year and into January. I had of course, hoped to be back in work for Christmas but, I was not. Everyone from work who are on my Facebook friends list, all told me not to come back because there was no way I would cope with the Christmas rush. They were all right of course. After all, I was still finding going up stairs a task in itself. At least I got to spend Boxing day at my aunt and uncle’s, which I don’t get to do that often.o

2015 and the first weekend of the new year I took as holidays and I returned to work on the Friday, 9th January 2015,  my usual shift of 5pm – 10pm. I was all hepped up to return to work since being off for so long. I found the shift very hard going, and having to go out of the building and back in through the staff entrance in order to use the lift just tgo to the staff canteen! The architect needs to be found and shot because they did not include a second lift to gain access to the staff canteen. (What a complete twp!) I was sent home early on my first day back because I could not stand up at the hybrid tills. The same happened the following week. As I was just returning back to work, I had booked Saturday off for the next few weeks to help ease me back in.  By the second week, I spoke to HR manager if I could take my remaining holidays bar two, which I was keeping for March (after my birthday), which she sorted for me. Going back at the start of January turned out to be a mistake. I thought I was ready, but I was not. So, for the next few weeks and going into February, I relaxed at home with the occasional shopping trip with mam to Brychdyn.

((((Cwtshes))))

xx Cerys xx

Advertisements

Costochondritis Update

Last Friday, 12th December, mam drove me to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd for my cardio referral. The appointment was for 3.30pm; and we left at 2pm to account for parking and have a cuppa before being seen. Ever since the Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board closed down many Cottage hospitals a few years ago, patients have been admitted to YGC and thus, parking has become a big problem due to visiting hours. Luckily, after failing at the first car park, we managed to park in the second on the right of the entrance. Presently, the hospital is undergoing a refit and therefore, the main entrance is temporarily out of use; and we had to use the cardio entrance. Making our way to the cafe was a bit of a maze but we cracked it (turn left at the Christmas tree). Walking I found tiring and kept close to the walls in case I lost balance and went down.

After having our drinks, mam and I made our way to the cardio department, where I had last been to back in 2010 for a check up. We had only been sat down 5 minutes by time I was called through to be weighed and give my personal details. The nurse asked if I had family with me and so I called mam through;  and we went and sat in the doctors waiting area. This I found odd. I was expecting to have a MRI and Angiogram as recommended by the cardio doctor at the Countess of Chester hospital back in October(7th),  following my Echocardiogram (scan of heart). The doctor did not seem to understand exactly as to why I was being seen by him. For some reason, he thought I was being seen to check that I have not had a stroke. I had to do certain tests such as place index finger on his and then touch my nose and reflexes checked. I was only in with him 10 minutes before it was over. I am still none the wiser as to whether I am to have the scans or not!

I have spent the last week in no mans land as far as knowing anything. My fit note was up on Monday 15th, I have spent part of the week in bed because of pain and exhaustion. I made an appointment with my GP Dr Shaheir yesterday afternoon; who has signed me off now until 1st January 2015. She was going to give me another month off but, I felt that was too long and that I would rather see how I am in 2 weeks time. I did ask her about the appointment last Friday, and it  would seem that it was just a referral, and it is upto the doctor at YGC as to whether I ahve the MRI and Angiogram. If I am not, and I am thinking that I won’t now; then the Gender Clinic at Charing Cross hospital in London need to be told so that I can have my GRS. I have wondered whether I have developed Fibromyalgia (costochondritis being a recognised symptom). Dr Shaheir told me that they’d need to rule out issues with the heart before diagnosing anything else. I have read all the related conditions and I feel that I have quite a number of them – feeling light-headed, up & down weight loss, depression, panic attacks, etc, etc. I could be wrong and I hope that I am.

 On Tuesday, 16th December, I had an appointment at work with an Occupational Health advisor again. As she was someone  else, I gave her some background history on my illness, before answering questions relating to my health since November.  I was in with her for 40 – 50 minutes. I explained how I was exhausted doing the washing up and walking upstairs at home. That I found it difficult to even walk half way up one aisle at Lidl supermarket, and that I had to go and sit back in the car and wait for mam to grab a few things. The last few days I have been worn out and clutching for breaths. And yesterday, I received a letter in the post to attend a meeting at work with the Personnel Manager to discuss the outcome of the occupation health report. I rang up work to rearrange the appointment; which was now at my home this morning. I was not in any fit state to drive and mam had gone to Chester. It was all over after 10 minutes. Apparently, because I have built up X amount of holiday entitlement, which I have obviously not taken due to being off work ill; they have allocated me the whole of January off. Unless of course I hand in another Fit Note. AT this stage, I may well yet do. However, I do hope my condition improves enough to enable my return to work; albeit on lighter duties.

At the start of this 4 month long haul of illness, it felt kind of nice to have a break from work. I was beginning to feel out of place at ASDA, Queensferry despite having made many good acquaintances. I would say friends but, I do not see them away from the place. However, as the time has passed, I have become quite depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts (symptom of Fibro too). As each month has passed through, I thought I was fit and able to return to work. In fact, I tried a few times and each one of those, I was sent home because I could not cope working on the checkout and fast lane areas. When at home, I am just either sitting or lying down coping with pain throughout my body. Currently, I have pain in my wrists and ankles, throughout my back and sternum at times, sensation of light-headedness and vertigo along with myself grasping for air when I am not even exerting myself. Hardly surprising that I am depressed more so than I normally get; especially as I live on my own. I am so had it with being in pain. Last thing that I want is to be here at night when I go to bed …. alone. 12th December was also the 14th year since my divorce in 2000. Thankfully, this does no longer affect me emotionally. I only wish I could find someone to love. I just can not ever see this happening for me again. So, before I begin to dwell, I shall leave this post here.

(( Cwtsh ))
xx Cerys xx

Today I should be in London

I will keep this post short for a change.

Last Saturday, mam drove me to work for my ‘we want to know how you are you’ meeting with Debbie, Personnel Manager. To be honest here, and to be fair, where else can I be honest if not in my personal blog(?), all these meetings over the past 3 months have felt like an inquisition (not the Spanish kind either). So, whilst I was upstairs, mam went into the store to shop.

From waking up and up to being at work, I just felt achy down my left side and bottom of my rib cage. Debbie took the meeting whilst one of the newly promoted girls took notes. In reply to being asked where I was health wise, all I could say was what I had been saying for weeks and weeks – where the pain is, that I am breathless all of the time and that I am still waiting to hear from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd regarding my appointments for a MRI scan and Angiogram. Also, that I could not say when I would be fit enough to return to work. As far as returning to work goes, an option Debbie put to me was to trained on the MVG desk (Music, Video & Games). She suggested this, as there would be no heavy lifting or twisting involved as there is on checkout. I agreed to this on my return. The intention is to be back this coming Friday 5th December, if I am up to it.

I had mentioned that I would go see my GP on the 28th November (Friday), however, I saw her on the Thursday. As it transpired, I was in pain driving to the surgery and back. I told Dr Shaheir that as well as being in pain still, I an my mam had noticed that at times; I was slurring my words or having difficulty speaking, ie, blur blur blur type of thing was coming out. Mam told me that she had noticed this a number of times previously but, Tuesday night it was more noticeable (Sunday through Tuesday I spent the nights keeping mam company whilst dad was away with work in Bristol). Dr Shaheir took my blood pressure, listened to my chest and neck – clear. She mentioned that it could be Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke” is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain. The disruption in blood supply results in a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can cause symptoms similar to those of a stroke, such as speech and visual disturbance and numbness or weakness in the arms and legs. However, a TIA does not last as long as a stroke. The effects only last for a few minutes and are usually fully resolved within 24 hours.

Dr Shaheir said that it can affect anyone who has a history of heart problems (which I have). Basically, tiny blood clots can travel into the brain causing the symptoms as mentioned in the above paragraph. These affects don’t last long and can be barely noticeable at times. This said, she is sending me for tests to be on the safe side. More tests! I mean, I am still waiting for the ones I have been referred for back in October! Just does not seem to be any end in sight.

So, since Thursday, I have been resting in bed as best I can. Sleep has been hard coming and I have found myself still awake at gone 3am these past few nights. Come the morning, I am absolutely shattered and not rising until mid morning at the earliest. To pass the time, I have caught up with a few recorded programmes and streaming series 2 of Orange Is The New Black. Which is as awesome as the first series. Mind you, I am only up to episode 5 of 13. Last night, I even watched Marvel’s ‘Guardians Of The Universe (with former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan aka Amelia (Amy) Pond-Williams). 2 hour film which pretty much just flew by and I highly recommend it.

And then, we are here, Sunday 30th November 2014. What is so special about today? Today, today I was supposed to travel back down to London and be booked in as a patient at Charing Cross hospital. Then tomorrow, 1st December, I would have been taken to theatre to have my GRS – Gender Realignment Surgery under the care of Dr Philip Thomas. To wake up this morning and realise that this surgery is not happening, well, I am more than disappointed to put it mildly (I’m not going to describe every emotion I have or am feeling over this, that’s not me). OK. OK. It can not be helped and is only postponed until the doctors receive the results of my scans.  I have been waiting so long for this life-changing operation that to fall ill and then be told I was to have the surgery before the year is out and only not to, I really do not know how I have kept myself together. What is getting to me, is that I will return to work, only to go off again for this surgery and then be off work for 10 weeks to recuperate. It is all rather depressing on top of everything. I was so happy and looking forward to being ‘complete’ as it were, and my first Christmas with my new vagina. I can only pray now that I will have the surgery before my birthday in March. Please let this be.

I will leave it there I think.

(( Cwtsh ))

xx Cerys  xx

Costochondritis, Work and Charing Cross Hospital

So, my GP had signed me off for a week following my appointment at The Countess of Chester hospital back in September, and I returned to work on Friday 12th September. My shift began at 5pm and I had to complete my return to work once I had clocked on. I manned the hybrid tills through to my break at 8.30pm. 9pm and those who were on the normal checkouts had all moved down to man the hybrids and I offered to go on the top hybrid rather than watch just one unmanned till. Within 5 minutes, I was struggling. Once someone could take me off, another colleague helped me upstairs to the canteen where I stayed until my shift ended. I was determined to drive home after resting but, my line leader made it clear that he was driving me home and leave my car in the car park. He suggested that I take the next day off but, me being me; wanted to come in because I thought I would be alright following a night’s rest. How mistaken was I. Saturday morning and I got a lift into work with across the road from me. 8am and I was pooped walking down the stairs to the shop floor. I had to take a breather as soon as I stepped foot onto the floor. Typical, as it it always is, my manager was walking towards me and wanted to check whether I would be OK to work and I had to show her I could walk a certain distance. I then headed up to checkout number 1 because it is the quieter of the lot. Wrong! The runners kept sending customers to me and I was beginning to struggle until I was eventually taken off at 10am to go for break. I say break, I ended up remaining in the canteen until my mam could come and pick me up. Another 2 weeks off work then.

Towards the end of September, I had a scan of my heart and the following week I was asked to return to the Countess for the result. I had to have another ECG and bloods taken before seeing the Cardiologist. To be fair, I was not there for long and I was with mam. Eventually I was called in to see the doctor, she was kind of punky and looked more like a secretary than a cardiologist. She told me that the bloods showed no signs of clots – which was great. As for my heart; it turned out that it is not functioning as well as it should be. The doctor did say that it was ‘mild’ – whatever that means. At least I have gone 12 years before having a heart issue again. As the NHS is devolved in Wales and funding issues, she said that it would be best that I have a MRI and Angiogram in either Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan or Ysbyty Maelor, Wrecsam, as they are the two hospitals I was at when I had viral myocarditis in 2002. Therefore, she was writing to my GP to refer me to one of them. As it stands, I am still waiting to hear of an appointment despite my GP stating it as urgent.

Thursday, 3rd October and I receive a phone call from Charing Cross hospital with a set date for surgery. As I had been waiting some time, she gave me the date of Monday, 17th November for surgery and a pre-op consult on Tuesday 7th October. Frustratingly, I had to decline due to my being ill. She then gave me another date for consult being 2pm on 21st October and surgery would be on Monday, 1st December. There is 6 weeks between consult and surgery because I would have to sustain from taking oestrogen for 6 weeks. With my fingers crossed, I prayed that I would be able to walk properly in 2 weeks from then. Mam booked the return  tickets for us both and we caught the Euston Central bound train on the 21st October. Walking to Euston Square to catch the underground to Hammersmith and down to the hospital, I was not too bad but a little achy considering I could not walk a mere days earlier. We made good time and with the appointment being with Urology at the hospital; It was only a short walk in comparison to going to the Gender Clinic further down Fulham Palace Road.

Urology is on the 6th Floor and the lifts take their time. We were not waiting too long before being called in by a nurse to be weighed, bloods taken for their records  and blood pressure and myself to swab around my genitalia; and then returning back to the waiting room until the Gender nurse called me in. She went through my medications, how everything will go and that I would be on a ward with 2 others who would be having the same operation. l then had to see a Urologist who  informed me to cease taking the oestrogen and that after surgery, I would not need to have any further anti-androgen injections – seeing how I would no longer have any testes. Back to the waiting room before seeing the anaesthetist  who, after I informed him that I am waiting for a MRI and Angiogram, has suspended my surgery until the get the results from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Bit of a damp squib but for the best. After all, it is my health and life going under the knife soon. In one way, I am extremely disappointed because I have costochondritis which has stalled the surgery that I have been longing for for so many years and on the other; and not too important by how I feel, I will be needed at ASDA during this festive period  The gender nurse wanted me to have bloods done so they knew my hormone levels. Due to having to catch the train home, I had to have them done back home in Flint.

Back to my health, I tried and failed to return to work on the Friday of that week. My trip down to London certainly did me no favours there. This time, I managed a mere one and a half hours. I began on till 3 before going on the hybrids at 6pm. I did not realise how bad I was. A colleague came on with me to help me out but I had to give in and went upstairs  to get 2 codeine tablets. As I entered the canteen, my line manager was in there and had been made aware of my health issue and sent me home. That Friday night I was in a lot of pain and through into Saturday. By early afternoon, I had contacted Out of Hours nurse who called an ambulance for me when I informed her of having chest pains. Again, ECG, bloods and an X-ray all done and because the tests showed no change to my previous visit back in August, this time, I was allowed to go home. I had to phone my parents to come for me and by now it had gone 11pm. I was glad to be going home and to my own bed.

During these last 3 months, I have had to keep work up to speed and I have lost count now of all the ‘we want to see how you are doing’ meetings with my managers. I have had to have an Occupational Health interview as it is ASDA policy for any staff member who is off for a long period of time through illness. Tomorrow, Saturday 22nd November I have to go in again for a meeting at 11.30am. I am repeating myself each time I go in. This week however, I have been in agony with my back and I have not even gone round to my parents this week and I am struggling to stand in one position for a short period of time. I have allowed myself to cry due to the depression of it all. I am worse from mid afternoon when the temperature drops and the cold takes a hold. My fit note runs out on Monday and I do not even know whether I will be back on Friday coming (28th November).

During this time, I have made a new friend called Elaine, a now ex of an old friend of mine called Chris. I will not go into details because it is private. I have found a wonderful connection with Elaine and I seem to be able to connect on a more psychic plane. That is; as with my mam; think of something ahead of what she and my mam say. I find this amazing. She is the first non-family member that I have been able to do this with. She has introduce me to Angel cards and to speak to my guardian angel for help and advice. On Sunday gone, we went to the town hall in Llandudno for the Mind, Body & Soul event, where I bought a pack of Archangel Michael Oracle cards. We had a bite to eat at the Fish & Chip restaurant across the road to the side. I was out of breath simply by eating and I struggled to walk back to the car which was only a matter of meters away behind the town hall. Since Sunday, I have had bad back pain but I was struggling beforehand too.

Anyhoos, I am going to end it there for now.

(( Cwtsh))

xx Cerys xx

Costochondritis

Well, it has been three months since my last posting, so I guess I am overdue for an update.

Work wise, I have been given extra hours on top of my two-day contract; taking my weekly hours to 30+. No complaints from me and I welcome more. I am classed as Service which is front end and I am spread between the Fast Lane and Hybrid checkouts – both of which are self service and the normal manned checkouts. I have no complaints with this either because I am glad to have a job in this current climate. We all were given a Flexi sheet to fill in over the coming Christmas period. On this, was also the chance to write down where else we would also like to work. I wrote down George, Home &  Leisure and Nights as the departments I would like to go and work on. In fact, I would definitely like to do nights on a permanent basis; mainly because you are paid more – night premium rate added. Whether I will be given the opportunity to work on any of these departments, I will have to wait and see.

In other news, on Thursday, 28th August, whilst serving customers up on checkout 3, I had a sharp twinge in the middle of my chest. I initially thought nothing of this because I have suffered twinges / palpitations since I was a teenager. They come and they go. Sometimes lastly mere minutes and other times; lasting for up to an hour or two and then I am completely fine and dandy. On this occasion, I had a number of sharp stabbing pains and I knew I was not right. The couple I had just started to serve at 4pm called for help, and Sharon (runner and my neighbour) darted round to see if I was alright. She told me to go upstairs and rest. I had not had my break and had been on shift for 4 hours by this point. Someone was supposed to have relieved me for a break at 3.30pm but no one did. Up to the canteen I went, slowly at that. I sat down with a few colleagues and by 4.40pm, my team leader told me to go home and a colleague swiped me off.

I decided to vacate the premises at 5pm and proceeded to walk  slowly down the stairs and out to my car where I would sit and wait for my mam to come and drive me home. My younger brother David was bringing her. Within minutes of walking from the staff entrance, and what felt like slow-motion,  I had collapsed to the ground due to becoming very breathless. Lucky for me, Zoe, a colleague from the Home & Leisure department was walking out at the same time.  She stayed with me making sure I was OK. Two other colleagues came over to check what was wrong and called a first aider out; Wendy who happened to be section leader. Between the four of them, they got me to my feet and helped me over to Zoe car which was close by. In the attempt to do so, I found that I had become even more breathless.  One of my colleagues asked a customer for his paper bag (empty MacDonald’s bag) for me to breathe into. I found this to be very difficult to do. Wendy then phoned for an ambulance before they eventually got me into Zoe’s car.

Ten minutes later, and a First Responder had arrived and took over my care whilst we waited for the ambulance to arrive. It was near on 6pm by the time the paramedics arrived. I was helped over and into the ambulance and after their initially health checks, took me to the Countess of Chester hospital because it is the nearest hospital to Queensferry. At this point,  I have to thank Zoe for staying with me up until the ambulance left the ASDA car park. She said to me that I had got her out of going to the gym at 6pm.

The plus side of being taken to hospital via ambulance is that you go straight into cubicles – cutting out A & E waiting altogether. I had to wait for about 30/40 minutes before being seen by a doctor – 6.30pm. I was told that she wanted to ensure I had not suffered a heart attack and shortly after I had an ECG (Electrocardiogram) to check my heart , and I also had a catheter put into my left hand too to have bloods taken as well as being  was taken for an x-ray. During all these tests, I had 3 ECG’s, bloods taken 4 times, I was hoping I would not be kept in over night. How wrong was I! My mam had stayed with me and asked one of the nurses (this was 10.50pm) if they were keeping me in – they were. So, my mam left at 11pm. During the night, at gone 2pm (I could not sleep), a young doctor asked me a few questions, listened to my lungs and heart but didn’t tell me much. He did say there was scarring on my chest but didn’t know whether it was old or new. Shortly afterwards, a nurse drew some more bloods.

Friday morning – awoken at 7.15am – I mean WHAAT!! I had only not long managed to fall asleep despite the pain in my chest. For breakfast I had a solitary Weetabix. More bloods were taken, of which the nurses struggled to draw after a few goes. Another doctor came round and told me for the second time that I had scarring on my chest but did not know whether it was old or new. She prodded me and informed me that I had  Costochondritis – is the medical term for inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone (sternum).  At least I had a name for it despite not being told over the last 20 years of having similar symptoms. Lunchtime – battered fish with mashed potato and mushy peas which I struggled to eat, followed by sticky toffee pudding – I managed a couple of mouthfuls was all. Shortly after lunch, I was informed that I was being discharged and that they were waiting on the pharmacy medication discharge forms.

My mam collected me at around 3.20pm and we got home by 4pm. I was so glad to be home – I could have a shower and a change of clothing – in this case, a onesie.  I contacted work to let them know that I would not be in over the weekend, and they told me that I could take the two shifts as holidays; of which I did. After coming off the phone, I made a cuppa and toast and headed upstairs to my bed where I watched television for the rest of the evening.

I returned to work on Tuesday, 2nd September for my 2-10pm shift. I was in the Fast Lane which I was glad of because there would be no twisting involved unlike had i been placed on a checkout. BY 3.20pm, I felt a sort of dull ache in the same area of my chest as I had on the previous Thursday, but I thought I was OK. 4.15pm and I was told to have my tea and so I headed towards the staff exit form the shop floor to the canteen. Once i reached the stairs, I struggled up them and by the time I got to the top, I was clearly out of breath and exhausted and simply collapsed into one of the chairs in the canteen. By 4.30pm, I thought I had better try and eat something – a homemade cawl but, as soon as I stood up, I had to sit back down again. Too much. 4.50pm – break over but I was going nowhere. Donna went down once she finished her break and informed Wendy (who was in charge of checkouts on the night), that I had taken ill again; and told to swipe off and go home. However, Sara, who was now on her break, put my cawl in the microwave for me. I managed to eat about a third of it. Despite being told to go home, I remained in the canteen until 7pm because I was just far too exhausted to leave and I had phoned my mam to come for me and I had to wait for her because she had to catch the bus in order to do so.

Thursday, 4th September and I went to see my GP Dr Shaheir as a follow up from the hospital. Nothing she could do except sign me off work for a week and tell me to take it easy, which I have been doing.  I am still finding it hard going. Even walking two doors up to my mam and dad’s is tiring for me.  So, all I have done this week is stay in the house except for nipping to Aldi for a few essentials.

There we go, that’s what has been occurring in my life since June. I really hope that I shall be OK enough for a return to work on Friday. Fingers crossed

(( Cwtsh ))

xx  Cerys xx

2014 – New Job, New Support Group & Re-decorating

Well, I have not posted since October 2013 and for that, I do apologize. I have not real reason as to why this has been the case except; that I asdahad not been in the right frame of mind to write any posts. Every so often, I go through a phrase where I am on the verge of lethargy within my own being.  By lethargy I do not mean being over tired but, a lack of interest in anything that I like eg, practising on my bass is a prime example. This can lasts for a mere few days upto several months. No one ever realises any difference because of the mask I don. On top of this, I have found that I have been feeling a sense of loss – feeling left out of my immediate social circle; and I still do. Being single for so long has been a major hindrance for me. There are many things that I would like to do, places to go that are better experienced with another person. I have no one to fill this gap. I could divulge but, I have chosen not to at this juncture.

So, what has happened since my last posting?  Firstly, I have a JOB! It is only part-time but it is work which gets me out of the house a few times a week. What is the job and who with? I am working as a Self-Checkout Host (SCH) with ASDA in their Queensferry store. I started with them on 25th October 2013 after being unemployed for almost a year, despite a handful of interviews. The one thing I did not want to do was to go back in to retail work but, with being unemployed at the time, I could not say no. I have previous retail experience with TESCO where I was a baker. After a couple of weeks training or in my case, refreshing on the checkouts, I moved over on to the Fast Lane – self checkouts. I was given a 13 1/2 hour contract because the plan was to move into the bakery. This did not happen because I was suffering an unusual number of vertigo attacks during November, Therefore, I informed the bakery manager that I could not risk myself or the current bakery staff should I have an attack whilst holding a hot bread tin or rack. Gutted to say the least.

Did I have any reservations prior to commencing my first shift? Yes. I had my concerns as to how I would be treated by my new colleagues and of course, the general public. I am very happy to say that I was and still am, accepted with no prejudice or discrimination whatsoever. In fact, one woman thought I was just another bonkers woman until she found out about me. See, I had posted a status on my Facebook page about seeing my ex-wife with her husband in the store. Apparently, she did not get this status and a fellow colleague told her that I use to be male. Initially, I was not bothered by being ‘outed’ by this colleague but, after thinking on it over the next week or two, my mind changed. She had no right to say anything of the sort. However, on reflection, I decided so what. Most, if not all; know I am transsexual. What this co-worker said to me after mentioning the status  was basically – “Does not bother me. You’re still crackers”.

I have slotted in remarkably well and I have genuinely had no issues with any ASDA colleague nor from the customers. I have at present 20 Facebook friends from ASDA which is great considering it has only been 7 months! I do like working there but, with only having a contractual 13 1/2 hours per week, I do need more hours and every now and again, I do get them. I really do need to find a full-time job.

I mentioned seeing my ex-wife back in January. Well, I saw her again last week on bank holiday Monday – 26th May with her husband and two young children using the Fast Lane. I had to go over and give assistance (at this point, I did not realise it was them). Cath now has short red hair again and he is going quite grey. I do not think either one realised who I was. The question – how did I feel about seeing her again? I am glad that she is still with Stephen after 14 years and I think they have been married for about 10 years I’m guessing.

In other news, also from October 2013; I received a letter from WLMHT for an appointment to see Mr Thomas at the gender clinic on Monday 17th MGIC-entrancearch 2014, 3 months after I was last there for my evaluation appointment with Consultant Psychologist Dr Penny Lenihan. 5 months seemed like an age to come around especially as I have eagerly been waiting for the gender realignment surgery. Forward to March 2014 and my parents and I head down to London, where my parents stayed for the week. My appointment was for 2.15pm and I eventually go in nearly 40 minutes later! Mr Thomas has  a quick chat with me before examining my groin to see whether I require genital hair removal (which Clinical Nurse \specialist Iffy Middleton had previously checked back in July 2013). After the  examination, he went through the procedure and made sure I was aware of the ins and outs of the operation and how long I would be off work for (12 weeks). Mr Thomas handed me a letter to take to administration to be put on the waiting list for GRS and asked me to make an appointment to see one of the Consultant Psychologists to ask for another referral letter stating that I have seen two CP’s and ready for GRS because the one he had off Dr Lenihan is dated August 2013. 

3rd April and just my mam and I go back down to London for my appointment with Dr Lenihan which lasts all of 15 minutes! She was not expecting to see me until after my GRS and was taken aback as to why Mr Thomas had requested a further referral letter considering the one he had received off her was still valid. She has written a new letter which she sent to myself and Mr Thomas and now, I am waiting with anticipation for a date of surgery.

20140427_173436

In May, thanks to my mam and dad, I have been able to have both my lounge and dining rooms redecorated. The first time since the summer of 2005! Both rooms have the same décor. The separating wall between next door and myself has been wallpapered whilst the other three walls have been painted ‘Matt Chocolate’ and done over a three-week period – that is to say, the decorator came back three weeks after completing the lounge because I had to strip the dinning room of the wallpaper already on the walls. I have also had new blinds fitted – Vertical blinds in ivory. Looks fantastic and fresh as you can see. I did take a photo of my blinds once they were up but, the picture was dark.

More up to date news, a new and local Transgender support group had its first two group meetings last month (May 2014). The group was set up by a dear friend Kate Hutchinson and called Trans Support Wrexham, and we meet up every third Sunday evening. The second meeting saw a couple of new members attend which was fantastic. It is surprising the number of transgender people there are in and around the Wrecsam area. Our third get together will be on the 15th June to plan ahead with the groups aims. The purpose of the group is give support to those who identify on the transgender spectrum; whether they are coming to terms with their gender identity through and beyond transition and, to support their loved ones and allies to understand what it means to be transgender. I am quite looking forward to our third meeting tomorrow (15th June), and to meeting new members.

Chester Pride 2013

Chester Pride 2013 Saturday, 5th October 2013 was Chester’s first LGBT Pride event. Commencing at 2pm in the town hall square. (click image for details)

I caught the train from Flint train station at 12.35pm and arrived in Chester at 12.50pm. I had initially intended to catch a mini bus with the ladies from Prestatyn, but they had said they were going to Bar 6T9 after the event. They you can see me walk in to had changed their plans and had arranged for the mini bus pick up at midnight. Sadly, the bus was full.

On my arrival in Chester, I decided to head to the MacDonald’s store at the Forum Precinct  in the town hall for something to eat. I asked the girl serving for a cheese burger and small fries and an orange juice. She asked me, what I thought was, “Do I want it as a meal because it is cheaper?”. Moments later, she handed me an orange juice and a Happy Meal box! I could not help but burst out laughing.  I took my meal upstairs and no, I did not keep the free toy (really).  When I came out, I was fortunate to spot Kate, a friend of mine. I was glad I did because finding anyone I knew was going to be difficult with the numbers attending the Pride event.

2pm – a flash mob got things going, and in the video below,  you can see me walk in to shot from the right:

Hosting the event were drag queens Penni Tration and Wanda Why with DJ Vicky setting the groove ahead of the first act  Vicky Jackson kicked off the afternoon’s entertainment as Lady GaGa:

Other acts were: Blue Sun, MJBV2anmPIEAEtehv2, Beguiled, Stacey Jackson, Kameelion, Viaduct Starlets, Me & Deboe and The X Factor 2011 runners-up Chris Maloney and headline act Amelia Lily. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any video uploads to youtube to show just how good Amelia was, especially with her cover of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven”.  The Lord Mayor of Chester Cllr Jill Houlbrook gave a quick speech around 3pm and as DJ Steph played her set she did this to a very loud cheer from all of us in the crowd:

Standing opposite the town hall and behind the crowd were a bunch of anti-gay protesters with their placards. Apparently, the Police had words with them shortly ahead of the event. Glad to say that there were no incidents to report.

By 6.30pm, it was over for the main stage and several venues took over for the after parties – Gender Blender (Rosies) had a brief appearance by Amelia Llily before she had to get back to London for a gig, The LA had special guest Sharon Wallace, The Commercial had Chris MaloneyThe Queens Head had ex The X Factor Sami Brookes and Bar 69 had Kameelion.

I spent the following 3 hours with Rustic Rainbow friends Wendy and Ingrid and their friends Trisha, Barbara and Diane. We spent the time between Gender Blender  where I boogied away and The Queens Head, before we all headed for home. Ingrid had said if there was room in the car, they would have given me a lift home.  I was at the station by 9.40pm with a 50 minute wait for the train home. The platform was quiet at this point. By 10.30pm, the platform was chock a blocked with revellers from Pride and from a general night out on the town. I was lucky to grab a seat, which was satisfying considering my feet were aching .

The train pulled into Flint at 10.50pm and on stepping out onto the main street, a 17-year-old lad was begging me, literally on his knees, asking me to buy him a bottle of vodka. His girl  friend asked me not to, and I did not. I will not buy alcohol for anyone under 18 years of age. Whilst he was begging me and she asking me not to, he had mentioned his friend’s name; and when I said, “Listen to Chloe”, she was like, “Oh my god. How do you know my name?”, as was he. I made out I knew their parents (I don’t). I left them top it and headed into Diana’s Pizza for a burger as I had not eaten since 1pm. The kids came in behind me and the lad was trying his best to get me to tell him how I know them. I just never came clean 😀 Once I got my cheese burger, I walked the remaining half mile home and got in shortly before 11.30pm.

Chester Pride  you totally rocked and thank you for an immense time

Cerys 05-10-13

(( Cwtsh ))

-x-Cerys-x-

Gender Recognition Certificate

GRCBack in July of this year, I began the process of applying for my GRC. I went to see Dr Kenny Midence at Ysbyty Gwynedd because he is one of the doctors on the gender recognition panel, and the only one in Wales (I mentioned Dr Midence  in a previous post), I received his report in mid August. I had printed off the application form for the GRC in July, and with the medical information from my GP Dr Elizabeth Matthews, photocopies of relevant documents which included my driving licence photocard and paper licence, utilities and household bills, letter from HR at last job; I made an appointment at Mold Law Courts to see a magistrate to witness my application.

12th August, I arrived at Mold Law Courts for 9.30 am and had just over 30 minutes wait before I could see the magistrate – Douglas Jones JP (Justice of the peace). I had to swear an oaf in front him to state that I am who I say I am (Cerys Lisa Davies), that I intend to live as myself from now until the day I die. On returning home, I put the application in the post – special delivery because of the sensitivity of the documents. Within a week I got a letter back from the GRC panel in Leicester, it turned out that I had forgotten to ask Douglas Jones JP to complete the section with his details to prove he was able to witness my oath. Therefore, I had to return to Mold Crown courts  to have him complete the missing part. On this occasion, he was not sitting and thus, another JP witnessed and completed the necessary documents – a Graeme Thomas. Again, on returning home, I posted the GRC document off with a few extra documents of proof with my name including a copy of my ECDL1 certificate and personal statements off of friends.

Wednesday, 18th September, a letter arrived from the Gender Recognition Panel , dated 16th September stating:

I am writing to confirm that we have received your further information. Copies have been made and added to your application. Your application will be listed to go before the panel in due course and you will be informed of the date in writing.

On Friday 27th September, i arrived home from Coleg Cambria in Llaneurgain (I am halfway through my ECDL2), to find the postie had posted a card that i had to go to the Royal Mail Distribution Centre in Flint to collect an A4 letter which I had to sign for. This morning, I called there ahead of my flu jab appointment. On returning home I opened the letter to see my GRC. Not only that, but whilst I was out, the postie had been and I had received today, a letter reading that they had included a copy of a full birth certificate in my name of Cerys Lisa Davies, gender Female.  The size of the grin on my face is still huge – ear to ear. They will send me a short birth certificate but I can request full copy which includes the names of my mam and dad for the sum of £9.95. I will need this to apply for jobs since the law came in back in 2004, that you have to show proof of your right to work in the United Kingdom even though one is born here. All because of the influx of immigrant workers from the EU since 2005.  😀

(( Cwtsh ))

-x-Cerys-x-

Goldfrapp unveils must-watch short film exploring gender identity

British electronic duo Goldfrapp have released a must-see video exploring gender identity and what it means to be transsexual. Describing the short as ‘Our little film about a girl trapped inside a boy’s body.”

The is thoughtful, tender and intimate and centres around ‘Annabel’, a young child living in the country, who  dreams and draws images of a female figure. Alison Goldfrapp plays the mother who comes to accept her for who she is; and ‘Annabel’ feels a sense of euphoria with her mother’s acceptance.

Goldfrapp has released a short film exploring gender identity 'Annabel'.

The track itself is based on the novel ‘Annabel’ by Kathleen Winter, which is the story of an intersex boy who comes to accept himself and explores his feminine side. When Kathleen heard the track, she said, “My work had entered a new place – it had become part of all music.: it belonged in the communal air, not just in my body,  or the writer’s lair, anymore.”

Kathleen went on, “I’d handed Alison an egg and she held it until it bore an infinitesimal crack, and out of that space escaped the longed-for bird girl inside each of us, and the bird girl had wings and could fly.”

The seven minute long video was created by director Lisa Gunning, with a full film to be shown in cinemas later in the year.

Their sixth studio album ‘The Tale Of Us’ and features the new track ‘Annabel’ is set for release on Monday, 9th September 2013.

While Goldfrapp may be known for electro pop, glam and glitter, the band has always been artists.

The British duo have unveiled a must watch video exploring gender identity, with them describing it as ‘our little film about a girl trapped inside the body of a boy.’

Thoughtful, tender and intimate, ‘Annabel’ centers around a young child living in the countryside dreaming, drawing of a female figure.

The mother, played by Alison Goldfrapp, comes to accept the child for who she wants to be. When that happens, the child experiences euphoria.

The track is based on the book ‘Annabel’ by Kathleen Winter, which instead is about an intersex child. In the novel, a boy discovers his true self and explores the girl inside that was denied at birth.

When she heard the track, Winter said: ‘I realized my work had entered a new place – it had become part of all music: it belonged in the communal air, not just in my body, or the writer’s lair, anymore.

‘I’d handed Alison Goldfrapp an egg and she’d held it until it bore an infinitesimal crack, and out of that space escaped the longed-for bird girl in each of us, and the bird girl had her wings and could fly.’

The seven minute video was created by director Lisa Gunning, with a full film to be shown in cinemas later this year.

‘Annabel’ is from Goldfrapp’s sixth studio album Tales Of Us, due to be released on 9 September.

Check out the video below:

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/goldfrapp-unveils-must-watch-short-film-exploring-gender-identity060913#sthash.C1FLeWMC.dpuf

Happy Birthday To The Doctor & Ace

Today, the 20th August is the joint birthday of former Doctor Who stars Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred who are 70 and 51 respectively.

Sylvester McCoy was born Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith on 20th August 1943 in DUnoon, Scotland. McCoy has numerous stage and TV acting roles including the legendary Saturday morning children’s show TISWAS, prior to being cast as the seventh incarnation of The Doctor in 1987. Sophie Aldred was born in Greenwich, England on 20th August 1962. Aldred was cast as Dorothy ‘ACE’ McShane in 1987, replacing Bonnie Langord as Melanie Bush, companion to the sixth Doctor Colin Baker.

DragonfireTeamWe first saw the pairing of Sylvester’s Doctor and Sophie as Ace in the Series 24 opening serial DRAGONFIRE which aired 23rd November 1987 – 7th December 1987.

Synopsis: On Iceworld, the Doctor and Mel unexpectedly encounter an old friend –Sabalom Glitz. Joined by Ace, a teenage waitress with a love for explosives, the group ventures off to find the fabledDragonfire treasure. But as usual, dark forces close in on them – and Iceworld itself.

Series 26 ended with Survival which aired 22nd November – 6th December 1989.  T20120413022232!Survival_finalhis was to be the final ever episode of the world’s longest running science fiction television proramme, and Sylvester and Sophie’s swan song. The series’ finalé saw the Doctor and Ace head ‘home’ to the ever faithful and sometimes unreliable TARDIS. After 27 years, Doctor Who had come to an end, finally losing the fight to stay on UK screens  to BBC1 Controller Jonathan Powell who pulled the plug; despite his predecessor Michael Grade’s initially attempt to cancel the show during Colin Baker’s tenure in 1985.

Here is their final scene together in Survival (although they went on to film Ghost Light which was the second serial of Series 26 which aired 4th October – 18th October 1989). John Nathan-Turner brought McCoy back in to the studio on 23rd November 1989 to record the now iconic voice-over for the scene …

Doctor: “There are worlds out there where the sky is burning,  the sea is alseep and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on Ace, we’ve got work to do”

Remembering Anthony Ainsley

As a matter of fact, today would have been the 81st birthday of the late, great Anthony AinsleyDoctor Master, who played The Master from 1981 – 1989. His Master went up against  four incarnations of The Doctor, from what is now referred to as the vintage or classic series of Doctor Who; played by and in order: Tom Baker (Fourth), Peter Davison (Fifth), Colin Baker (Sixth) and Sylvester McCoy (Seventh). First appearing in The Keeper Of Trakken.

Ainsley reprised his role as The Master in the 1997 BBC  computer game Destiny Of The Doctors, which was to be his last appearance as the character.

R.IP.

(20/08/1932 to 03/05/2004)