Timanna Bennett, R.I.P.

I know, in my life, there have been many people who loved me, but maybe two people who i feel like have ever really understood me. Yesterday was the funeral of one of those people. Timanna’s memorial service started with her family speaking, then her best friends and exes. People spoke about how accepting and understanding she was. She would accept one person and simultaneously accept her other friends being judgmental.
T was queer and genderqueer. She could grow a sparse moustache (better than mine), which she often did. For the inauguration, she decided to wear a wig and a muumuu to go to the Parkway Theatre and watch Obama get sworn in. She also would sometimes butch up in a suit or a tux, and cut quite a dashing figure. Several butch women spoke very movingly about how T helped show them that it was ok to be a masculine woman. Alex talked about how she and T used to go to thrift stores and buy old man clothes together.
Other people spoke about T being unconventional and flamboyant. Somebody mentioned getting thrown out of a movie theatre. Nicole told me about a road trip where they had been thrown out of a Denny’s (for playing Madonna on a boombox). When I was an undergrad, I had an overdeveloped sense of propriety and T liked to shout “penis!” at the top of her lungs in grocery stores and whatnot when I was with her, just to watch me squirm.
Sophie wrote a eulogy where she shared that when she was a freshwoman and new to Mills, a group of new students had decided to go skinny-dipping in the fountain in the middle of campus, during the night. Timanna grabbed all their clothes and ran off with them.
T was almost larger than life. She was the most creative person I’ve ever met. Frustratingly, she didn’t do that much concrete with it. Her senior art show was really cool and she did an awesome zine. I always hoped she’d have more frequent output. It seemed like she was always helping other people be more creative. When I was a youth and put out my first album with Mp3.com, a vanity label, T bought a copy. I think she’s the only one to have bought it. A couple of years ago, she commissioned me to write a short piece. She was one of two people who encouraged me to start blogging.
Somebody said how T seemed to have trouble figuring out her life path. Lately, she had some problems with drugs, but it seemed like she was really sorting herself out. She was trying to quit and was volunteering at a law center to help victims of domestic violence. She had just applied to do a MA program at Mills in public policy. T was an activist, always working for social justice and change. One of her professors from her undergrad days talked about how she had written a recommendation letter for T, how she was going to get into the grad program.
The professor wants to set up an institutional memorial for T at Mills. T has been around Mills for over a decade now, involved in the community. Her mother spoke about how T had never felt she fit in anywhere, until she got to Mills. There was a stirring of recognition in the mourners, many of whom were Mills women (and another Mills man aside from me). I started crying at that moment and haven’t stopped much since.
There’s so much I want to ask T, about herself and about gender issues – like what it means for me to have felt so strongly validated as a Mills woman then, but a man now? And I just want to talk about Madonna or whatever pop culture thing she was into at that moment.
The last time I saw her, I was home for Christmas and it was a stressful visit. I saw my family for the first time since starting transition and my ex girlfriend for the first time since breaking up and I almost didn’t want to be in California at all. Timanna came over and we went to the White Horse, her favorite gay bar, in Oakland. It was karaoke night. I’ve barely got any control of my voice since it started to change, but the overall quality of singing was on a par with what I could manage. We sang a duet of “I Touch Myself,” a song I hadn’t even heard in years. If we got any notes right at all, it was by happy accident. But we acted like “horndogs,” according to the MC. T didn’t even seem embarrassed, even as I was blushing.
I think all the queers and butches and femmes and transfolks and academics and activists and friends packed in the pews of the chapel and standing in the back could tell a story like that, about how T was a bright spot in their life. And at this dark hour in mine, I keep thinking that if I’m in the Bay Area and I’m so sad, I should call her up. It’s hard to even conceive of a world without her.

Will be in California . . . for a funeral

Timanna Bennett died. I don’t really know what happened. T was a good friend for a long time. I’m flying out tomorrow. T’s memorial service is at the Mills chapel on Saturday, 14 February, at 11am. There will be a potluck reception afterwards. As far as I know, T was the first of my Mills friends to die. A lot of people who knew her then seem to be planning on coming. I think some of them fell out of contact since, but T was just such a remarkable person.
I will post more about her later, but right now I just can’t. I should be packing to travel anyway or washing some of the many dishes that I shouldn’t leave in my sink for two weeks. I’ll be in the Bay Area until the 23rd. I hope to be able to see as many friends as possible while I’m back, especially if I haven’t seen them for a while. I didn’t see too many people when I was home for Christmas, but I did see T, thank gods.
My cell phone number is 917 355 5064. That’s a New York number, but it rings in my pocket.
This is all very distressing.

Injection Report

I got registered with a new GP who suggested that I should keep stabbing myself. I should have objected. I hate doing it and I’m not good at it. For example, this time:
I shattered the ampoule and bits of it got in the T. Damn, I should have cleaned the outside with surgical spirits before opening it. I drew it into the needle and then pushed the needle into my leg. You’re supposed to draw back on the syringe to make certain you haven’t hit a blood vessel, so I did that and got air bubbles?!?! How is there an air pocket in my leg?
I decided to re-stab, but motherfucker, the needle was not as sharp on the second go. Ouch. The second time, I decided that air in my leg, must be a feature, so I pushed it in anyway.
So I put unsterile T in my leg with some air bubbles and a dull needle and my hands were shaking like hell. I am so going to get a nurse to do this in three weeks. That or a junkie.


If you’re wondering about that photo shoot magazine business, well, they haven’t paid me yet, so I’m going to wait to mock them. But I got my T shot finally on Monday (and I feel so much better).
On Monday, I showed up to my doctor’s surgery and after asking the receptionist if I could speak with a nurse, I asked her if, as a favor, she could please change me from “Miss Celeste” in the NHS system to “Mr.” They have to use my legal name, fine. But titles aren’t legal. And every time I got something addressed to “Miss Celeste” I felt like they had tied a pink bow around my neck. “Mr” would help. A lot.
The receptionist looked at her computer. “Is your real name ‘Celeste’?”
“uh. yeah.”
“Are you from the states? Are you American?”
“yes . . .”
“Oh! Well, over here ‘Celeste’ is usually a girls name! That’s probably what’s caused the confusion.”
I did not start laughing. I said, “My mom was a big Johnny Cash fan.” Which is true, but I wasn’t exactly a boy named Sue. I went to sit down and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the receptionist get more and more confused looking until she went into the back. And then my name came up.
The surgery has a sort of an announcement system. “Would so-and-so please go to room 15?” I couldn’t tell if they said “Miss Hutchins” or “Les Hutchins” or what. They pronounce “Les” like “Lez”, not like “less.” And “Liz” is also a name, which sounds very very much like Les. It’s confusing. But my last name was clear, so I went to the room.
The nurse showed me how to open the ampoules. They’re made entirely of glass. You have to snap them open and be careful not to cut yourself. But they snap cleanly. She told me not to worry about bits of glass getting into the T. I asked her if she could just do the shot for me, since she’d opened the container.
She agreed and I asked for it in my bum. It’s a good idea to rotate injection sites, because of scar tissue and whatnot. Since I use my legs, I thought I’d ask her to do someplace that I can’t reach. She was anxious that I not lower my trousers in front of the window, but then she just pushed the needle in. No gloves. No hand washing for her. No antiseptics for me. Not even a quick jab with the needle. It just went right through my unsterilized skin. I’m surprised the British aren’t ultra-cautious about this, like they are about everything else Is it just her? I guess I don’t need to be too paranoid about that part then.
I asked if I could just have a few needles instead of buying a hundred, so she gave me some (yay) and then asked me how I dispose of them after using them. I explained that I put the cover back over them and put them back in the little plastic pouch they came in, so nobody would get stabbed, and threw them away. “Oh no, you’ll go to hell for that!” she said.
My friend has a joke he loves: There are Jews in hell for eating bacon. There are Catholics in hell for eating steak on Good Friday. And there are Anglicans in hell for eating the meat course with the salad fork.
I won’t go to hell for being all kinds of queer, I’ll go to hell for not following proper safety protocol with used sharps. She told me I need a sharps container and wrote me a prescription to get one from the pharmacy. When I saw the name on the scrip, I knew my conversation with the receptionist had not been in vain. It’s written for “Miss Les.”

Feeling Sleepy

When last I posed about my adventures with the NHS, I had just gotten a prescription from a completely uncertain doctor. She had no idea if she’d written me the right amount of the right type of T nor whether or not I should have to pay for it. She didn’t even know what kind of needles I would need. She went to ask a nurse but couldn’t find one. She promised me a referral to an endocrinologist, so that somebody with experience could be checking on things. I agreed this was for the best.
If I had stayed in the states, I would have 10 weeks of testosterone left on my initial prescription, so as long as I’m getting an equivalent amount to what I was first prescribed, it’s ok that nobody has checked up on me yet. And I went asking around on the internet and the doctor had, indeed, given me an equivalent amount. So I took my prescription note to the chemist (British word for “pharmacy”) to get it filled, the day before I was due for my shot. They had to order it.
I find injecting to be stressful as hell, so I didn’t actually hurry to pick it up the next day. I arrived on Friday, a day late, to get my T. The pharmacist gave me 3 ampoules and 30 needles! But they were insulin needles. They only held 1 CC and the needle part was about half the length needed for intramuscular injections. And, I mean, I like to have spare needles, so I can practice on oranges a few times before I stab myself, but ten per shot is a little excessive. Ten per shot of totally the wrong needle is beyond useless. The pharmacist (chemist?) said he could order 2 CC needles for me . . . in a case of 100 for £20. That’s a fairly major investment on my part, not just economically. If I stay on the same kind of T, instead of switching to the once every three week formulation most frequently used by European ftms, that’s enough needles to last me 4 years. If I practice with an orange every time, that’s 2 years worth of needles. I was kind of hoping to switch from injecting to some other form, like a patch or implant or whatever. That’s a hell of a lot of needles. He promised to order them. They would arrive on Saturday. Two days late for my shot.
I got home and found I had one needle left from before. yay. Obviously, I’d prefer to have an extra (one time I took the cover off of a needle and promptly gouged into my thumb. So much for that needle.), but if I only have one, then I only have one. I watched a youtube video about how to DIY it, just to double check that I’m doing it right (more or less, I’m fine) and I put on some Steve Reich phasing music to feel happy and relaxed. I did the prep. Wash my hands. Figure out where I’m going to stab myself (left leg). Clean it. Clean the top of the ampoule before . . wha? What’s this? It’s made entirely of hard plastic. Where do I stab it? How do I get the T out of this thing?
I looked at the clock. 17:15. I looked at the web page for my Doctor’s Surgery (British word for “office”). Oh christ, they’re closed until Monday morning.
I was already a day late.
I don’t know how to describe what this feels like. People who have taken the pill or whatever can probably relate, on some level, since they’re messing around with their hormones also. The goal of the T dose taken by an FTM is to cause masculinization, but also to overwhelm his ovaries so they just give up. It’s early menopause. Which is fine, because he’s got new artificial hormones to keep him going. It’s better living through chemistry! Except that’s only as good as the pipeline coming to you.
When I started T, I still had a fair amount of anxiety, so I’d never typed the name of my drug into google. I thought reading the information might freak me out, since, you know, I got freaked out kind of easily. Oh my god, this is the most sought after steroid for weightlifters. There are body builders who take more every day than I take in two weeks. Well, I guess I don’t need to worry about dying of an overdose or something. They all report the same effect I did. More energy. More stamina. Easier to make muscles. All this physical energy and strength.
Missing a dose for several days, though, isn’t just going back to baselines levels. My baselines hormone levels have been shut down. It’s going to zero. Not only am I below the normal male range, I’m below the normal female range. I’m at nothing. I feel like. I don’t know. I want to take a nap. A really really long nap.
I feel like I’m underwater, somehow. You know how it sounds when you’ve got your head underwater and somebody’s shouting at you? You can hear it, but it sounds strange and distorted and barely understandable. I feel like that sounds.
I can get through a few days of this with tea (caffeine is a little like T. (if only there was T tea)) and chocolate. In Harry Potter, you recover from dementors by eating chocolate. It sort of revives you from having stared into the abyss. That’s the most true part of those books. But, now, I dunno. I got nothing. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to walk around. I don’t want to make music. I don’t want to make tea. I don’t want to eat the chocolate sitting by my bed. I just want to sleep. And not, like, with a longing, just like a default. It’s like staring in the abyss, but the nothing staring back at you isn’t infinitely horrifying in it’s emptiness. It’s not horrifying at all. It’s like the abyss is made up of shuffle board courts and corporate team meetings and sandwiches made of wonder bread and waiting rooms and BBC Gardening shows. It’s not dread, it’s complete numbness. The mummy’s curse causes dread. But being a mummy is all white bandages and laying in a box and nothing ever happening, just a really long nap.
A half hour goes by and I haven’t even noticed. I could stare at the wall for days.
Of course, some part of my body has noticed this state of affairs and is rousing itself to action. It’s kicking at my ovaries telling them to wake the hell up and do something about this. I really don’t want them to wake up. stay asleep. Stay asleep. It’s only another day. I’d rather be a eunuch.
Is it bad for me to oscillate like this? How the hell should I know? Probably it’s not good. It doesn’t seem like it could be. When I made a list of pros and cons, this possibility was at the top of the con column. I’m tethered to doctors and prescriptions and chemists and needles and and and. Not that being anxious all the time constituted total freedom.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. I’ll get through this. I don’t regret my decision. Not that I have the energy for regret.
I want to go abroad this summer for a few weeks. I don’t see how I can work that out and my prescription at the same time. Especially since the referral that came was for a shrink. I have to jump through some hoops in May and probably June. There must be a way, obviously. I’m sure I’ll work it out. And it’s not like I don’t have a fuckload of options. When I go to play a gig in the states in July, there’s 10 weeks of T I’ve still got prescribed to me. I’d rather not have to fork over the $$ for it, but I know it’s there if I get stuck.

On a Positive Note

[Injected Orange]
I just gave myself another injection and it actually went quite alright. I practiced with an orange first. Also, having a prescription in hand for the next shot was extremely reassuring – if I screw it completely up, I’m not SOL. And when I talk to the doctor about how much I hated needles, it was kind of ok. I have an idea that if I was adequately dedicated, I would just ignore all my needle worries and jump into it with no hesitation. Of course, I know intellectually that this is silly. She just said, “oh, we’ll have to find another way for you to take it, then.” and that was it.

And somehow the badness of last time was calming instead of unnerving. “Well, at least I’m not filming. When I get this done, I can go make a soundtrack for that film.”
So a positive note instead of doom and gloom. I wish, though, that I’d been slightly less focussed on the task at hand. That orange didn’t have a damn bit of booze in it. For shame.

Managing Extremes

Puberty . . . wow. I won’t say that being 20 years older than last time isn’t making it easier, because it is. But getting used to a really different hormonal situation still takes some time to get used to it, like probably several months. In the mean time, I’m kind of feeling at extremes. I’m not neutral about much of anything. Things are either amazingly great or the worst fucking thing ever. Sometimes my mind can change on whether something’s fantastic or awful within a a very few moments. It’s emotionally exciting and as such is completely awesome! It totally fucking sucks!
I try to moderate my responses when I’m around people, and this actually helps keep them moderated. So I’m trying to get out more. Also, music helps. My appetite for loud, angry punk rock has recently re-emerged. And, again similar to my youth, making music helps a lot. Even esoteric, algorithm driven, computer pieces that sort of play themselves. They almost help more because of the emotional detachment necessary to get them working, but the need for emotionality in evaluating the results. It’s like slowly releasing pressure from a canister.
Although, it doesn’t sound like slowly releasing pressure from a canister. It sounds like the canister has just fucking exploded and killed three people. Or something. Yesterday morning, I was actually shaking the music building. I feel a little guilty about that, because the studios are supposed to be soundproofed, but I kind of forgot about how low frequencies will travel through soundproofing and through walls and apparently disturb a class next door. Oops. My supervisor came by afterwards to see what was going on, mentioning only once his class was over that it had been hard for them to hear. Oops. He left, telling me to “rock on.” So maybe it’s ok in moderation, as long as I don’t disturb all his classes?
I could get night hours and not disturb other people, but then I would lose all the value of interacting with other people. Valuable interactions like, “what are you doing??” and “I feel sorry for your ears.”
A couple of years ago, Brum got a gigantic grant of something like £500000 to buy speakers and fix up the studios. And they did a great job. We can gig with well over a hundred discrete audio channels and speakers. It boggles the mind. When I was a wild and crazy youth, I really wanted to have a million dollars worth of speakers and A/D converters. Think of all the things you could do! But my laptop only has stereo outs, and it turns out that if you have 8 or 16 or N number of speakers, you have to carry them and all the cables and everything, so I learned to love stereo. I don’t think that I had a real idea of what to do with 60 speakers then, and I really don’t now. I mean 60 speakers! You can do it just to show off your vast speaker wealth (and thus how incredibly sexy you must be), but I think it’s better to justify it somehow. The piece you do with 60 speakers should really need that many of them. My colleagues all succeed at this, but I want to work within my pre-existing vocabulary of very artificial sounds. If you’re using recordings of water drops, you can just send a bunch to the upper left side and then that part of the audience feels like you’re going to drip on them. But what do you with sine tones?
Well, obviously what you do with sine tones is to come up with something that will hurt the audience! You assault them with sine tones! Out of tune, slowly phasing low frequencies shaking you from every direction! Muahahahaha.
I think I want to do an installation. There’s a lot of hierarchy and social control inherent in the concert hall paradigm. People come in before everything starts, sit quietly and appreciate your music, clap at the end and the shuffle back out when everything is finished. But 60 or 100 speakers really creates a physical space. There’s no one sweet spot in the middle where everything sounds best. There’s sounds coming from every direction. If you’re close to one particular speaker, that’s entirely different than being in the center or at another edge. I don’t want to dictate to people how long they should listen or where they should listen or how they should listen (or if they should bother at all). I’d like to give them something that slowly evolves over several minutes and gradually returns to it’s starting state and then re-evolves. That kind of music requires a patience that I don’t want to enforce. I don’t want to make people wait it out if they’re not drawn in on their own. I don’t want to tell them them what to do. Of course, anything presented has some hierarchy, it’s inescapable. I’ve got control of the speakers and they don’t. But it does have a slightly more anarchist edge to it when they don’t have to just sit and suffer through if they don’t want to.
So I want to hurt people, but in a non-heirachical, listener-empowering fashion. I can’t decide if that’s the most fucking stupid contradiction ever, or the most fascinating idea to ever emerge from the academy.

Cue Whining

It’s time for my biweekly whine about trying to self-inject. Expect to see this series continue every other week for the rest of my goddamn life.
So I go through a certain amount of psychological drama every damn time and I thought two things about this: 1. visually, there might be something interesting in there with art applications. 2. I’d have a lot of motivation to “be a man” and suck it up and just do it if the camera was running.
(Yes, I am indeed aware of how completely problematic “be a man” is. I have to emotionally abuse myself in order to force myself to stab myself. It’s problematic all the way around.)
In case you’re wondering, this actually turns out to be quite a poor plan. Not only are my hands kind of shaking, but I’m self conscious about it. Finally, despite knowing it’s usually a poor idea, I pushed the needle slowly into my leg. Because if you can’t force a blade quickly though your skin, doing it slowly is such a great idea. But I’ve done this all of 7 times before. Clearly, I know what I’m doing. I can tell, for example, that I seem to be deep enough because as I push down the plunger, nothing is leaking up around the needle.
No, that leaking will wait until I’ve pushed the plunger all the way down. Because if a little leaks while I’m injecting, it means the last day before my next shot, I’ll feel like shit, but on the other hand, I can just push down further and the rest goes where it belongs. Contrast this with everything looking fine until I remove the needle and all the T comes running out after it. It’s soaked through the bandaid I put on. It’s soaked through my trousers. Of course, it’s really hard to eyeball a greasy puddle of Cholesterol and guess how much less than 1 mL it is. Did any get in the right place at all? I’d guess about half came back out, but what do I know?
I’ve been procrastinating on calling a local doctor. I know I need to, because I run out of T in two weeks. But now I have extra motivation. Like, wtf now? Wait two weeks and hope not feel overly unhappily numb? Do it again right away and hope I don’t get way too much?
I hate needles. I hate doctors. I hate puberty. I hate acne. I hate psyching myself up to a shot. I hate psyching myself up to use a public loo. I hate not knowing any other trans folks where I live.
I mean, there are good things about transitioning. Many, many good things. I’m just not in that space right now.
And below . . . the final 4:20 of me trying to get myself to inject and finally doing it wrong. Hooray for the internet.

And . . . I finally injected

Yesterday morning, I biked over to my friendly neighborhood doctor’s office and asked t speak with a nurse there. The desk person seemed to think this was kind of a weird request. It’s pretty normal in Holland, at least. I waited a very short period of time which I spent conversing with an overly-friendly patient who told me my sweater was “pretty.” umm
I had brought with me my vial of T, some needles and my aborted needle from the night before, still with most of a dose in it. I explained I had gotten freaked out, that T had leaked everywhere, that I thought I was going to stab something vital, etc.
She told me to throw away the needle with a partial dose left in it and just start over, injecting the full amount. Some of the T might have gotten to the right place, but it probably didn’t and the old needle tip would be blunted from re-use and the dose in it might not be sterile anymore. So just start over.
Then she assured me that there wasn’t much danger involved with this kind of shot. If I stab way too deep, I might hit my bone (ack), but that doesn’t happen to people unless they’re really, really, really skinny. And even if you hit your bone, it causes pain, but it doesn’t actually hurt anything. It’s also possible to hit a blood vessel, but the risk there is just pain and bruising, not anything serious or life threatening.
She told me to jab it in quickly, rather than push it in slowly (“Just like that scene in Pulp Fiction“) and to practice by stabbing oranges. Then she looked at my needles and told me I might be happier with a BIGGER gauge. T is really thick and obviously my problem would not be with the actual stabbing but with the squeezing the syringe. She offered to get me bigger needles. I declined. (Ack! No! Are you crazy??!) And she gave me some pamphlets on how to do it.
I asked if she could just give me the shot. I was still feeling kind of freaked from the drama the night before and also, since I was a day overdue for my shot and the previous week’s had partially leaked away, I was kind of in a weird space. I was really grumpy and weird. My body was thinking, “What the hell? Where’s all my hormones? Should I start making some? How am I supposed to regulate mood without hormones?” I was hoping she could just do it and I could return to normal. She was taken aback when I suggested it and went to ask if the head doctor would let her. The head doctor said no, as I didn’t get the prescription from their clinic.
I complained saying that I had tried to get it from their clinic, but the doctor I talked to said they didn’t do that there. The nurse was even more surprised. “We most certainly DO do that here! What doctor said that? Was it Dr. Z?” It was some white guy, I said. “It was Dr. Z, then.” She went to discuss it further with the head doctor. I still didn’t get my shot form her, but at least the guy who told me they wouldn’t do it and acted kind of freaked by my request those weeks ago, at least he’s getting in trouble. The nurse offered to set me up an appointment at the clinic there, so close to my house, so I could get them managing my health again. I said no. I don’t have more money to throw at doctors right now. The blood tests alone cost more than $1000. I can’t afford to repeat them. When I need a new prescription, if I’m not in England, I’ll go there. But otherwise, no.
The more I think about my experience with Dr. Z, the more annoyed I get. He was a dick, but not openly hostile. Still, he refused me treatment because of prejudice. And what’s alarming is that I know this will be a constant for the foreseeable future. I was reading recently about a trans guy who died of ovarian cancer. He caught it in time. It was treatable. Doctor after doctor refused to treat him. They thought it would harm their social standing to provide life-saving treatment to a freak. I mean, this is Berkeley, I shouldn’t have that problem, right? Meh. Maybe I should get all the female-specific parts of my anatomy removed pre-emptively? There’s differing opinions on whether FTMs on hormones are more likely to get ovarian cancer. They’re way more likely to die of it, though. Lesbians are also more likely to die of ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, etc. Because doctors can be discriminating assholes. I still have lingering negativity towards the medical profession based on the experiences I had with them as a young dyke. Being FTM is that all over again. Being out as FTM now is a whole lot like it was for me to be out as a dyke 15 years ago.
After the doctor, I went to wrestle with Jean’s wifi network. (the network won the match, alas) and then I went home to discover that Cola had coincidentally bought a whole bunch of oranges. I explained my plans to stab them with hypodermic needles. “Well, they are blood oranges.” she said.
I held one in my hand, ready to stab. What if I missed and gouged up my hand!? I put it between my knees. Too much danger! I found a narrow-mouthed cup and put it in the top of that. Stab. Stab. This isn’t so bad. Then I had an idea and poured some compari into the cup and drew it up into the needle. I stabbed the orange again and injected the compari into it. I turned the organe and repeated the process. but I quit when compari started leaking out all the puncture holes. Ok, I can do this. Also, compari injected blood orange is a tasty treat.
So, finally, at bed time, I prepped everything to get ready to inject and pulled the protective cover off the end of the needle – and promptly slipped and stabbed the tip of my thumb. Ouch! It went in deep, until it hit something hard and stopped. I cursed and bled. Augh!
I re-washed and re-prepped and pulled out another needle. This was #4. I suddenly understood why I had gotten a prescription for 25 needles and was relieved that I had taken a few “extra”. I pulled the T into the needle, got the bubbles out and then sat with the needle poised over my leg. “Just jab it. Just like the orange” I instructed myself . . . and then sat there for 20 minutes trying to remember to breathe, but not hyperventilate. Finally, I made the jabbing motion but decided to abort at the last second. Too late! My leg was bleeding. Damn it. About 20 minutes later and a third or fourth re-swabbing of my leg later, I jabbed in the needle. And it was remarkably like stabbing the orange. Sort of a rind and then a softer under-layer. I slowly pushed the plunger down, probably scraping up my leg muscle as my hands shook.
All in all, it worked out for the best. I have a hard time psyching myself up to jab, so the previous two times I had a needle in my leg, I had pushed it in slowly and not far enough and had leaking. But after talking to the nurse and stabbing an orange, I think I should have much less trouble next time. While the emotional barrier to jabbing is high, once it’s jabbed, it’s much less emotionally intense than pushing in slowly.
There’s now a whole collection of used hypodermic needles in the trashcans of my house. (I always put the safety cover back over the needles.) And there’s the compari one on my coffee table. I’m pondering whether I should keep it to further fortify fruit Can one purchase duller fruit needles that wouldn’t be tempting to a junkie or dangerous to a klutz but still be able to pierce an orange or watermellon and up the alcohol content? Also, how the hell do people come to be IV drug users? My gods.
I woke up this morning feeling much more normal. No more putting off injections to the last second or the next day.

I cannot deal

The scene: me sitting on my bed, clumsily trying to hold a bottle full of T and a syringe, with my trousers around my ankles. The syringe is pulling up bubbles. I’m trying to flick on the needle and get them out, while still trying to hold the bottle and syringe in separate hands. I rub my leg with rubbing alcohol a 10th time just to make sure. I slowly push the ginormous needle into my leg. The needle is like – i should be pushing my leg into the needle maybe – it’s so huge. I slowly push down the plunger thing and oil T runs all over the fucking place but not into my leg, it flows out of my leg. Augh, not deep enough. “damn it, not again,” i say and push it in deeper. Even more oil runs every where.

I take a deep breath and push it farther in my leg. Oh my god, how far is it? it’s going to hit my bone, it’ going to come out the other side, it’s going to hit an artery and make my heart all manly and clogged with a cholesterol suspended in an oil, abort! abort! holy shit that was like an inch into my leg! how deep is it supposed to go? i don’t know, i’ll check the internet. cn i re-use a needle that’s already been stuck into my leg? i’m going to be a fucking pin cushion. I’ll go to my local doctor tomorrow and ask a nurse to do it, but they’ll want to use a different needle. Do I start over with a full dose or use the partial, two-thirds dose still left. did any get in my leg, or did it just run everywhere? what f i get too much? what if i get too little? what if i get full of scars? what if i just can’t do this to myself every other week for the rest of my life? it feels like when i was 15 and pierced my own nipple with a seweing needle. it feels exactly like that every two weeks for the rest of my life.
my leg is bleeding. i put a bandaid on it. i feel freaked. there’s got to be a better way.