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Thread: Here today, gone tomorrow: Live your life!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Read only Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Here today, gone tomorrow: Live your life!

    I debated posting to the lounge, but it directly pertains to CDing, so here goes. Some of you know I have had major heart problems. I've had CABG (quad bypass) and umpteen other things done. I knew I was coming up on heart cath time at some point, but wasn't certain when or what was going to happen. So I had a nuclear stress test in November, got my hands on the report, my doc said I had "small to medium blockages." When I saw the PA a week later, I asked her where they were. She said all up and down the left side but not in the LAD (widowmaker, most important artery in your body) itself. Ok, cool. Then no cause for concern, we'll do a cath, probably a stent or two, miss a couple days of work, no biggie.

    Cath day arrives. They take me on the stretcher to the cath room. They start prepping me, they make small talk, I tell them this is my sixth time, I know what to expect. Power goes out. They realize it's gonna take a minute to fix. They pull me into the hallway. Power gets fixed about ten minutes later. My doctor is clearly irritated by the delay. They get started... they forget to set up the curtain over my chest so I can't see what they're doing as they go into my groin. Whatever. I ask about five minutes in if we're starting anesthesia yet (two types, one to numb so you don't feel, a secondary to make you feel drugged up and out of it, "twilight" so you're awake but not really aware of what's happening). I get odd looks... I have my head up watching the doc cath me and ask the tech next to me questions the whole time (that 1.5 number he called out, that's a stent?). I hear him state he is having trouble getting the stent in. Suddenly, a brief, heartburn pain goes into my left side of the chest. I call him the F word and then laugh it off... sorry, that kinda hurt though, Doc. I am completely in charge of my faculties and aware if everything going on. We finish, I tell the tech that something didn't go right with the anesthesia, he says they noticed. Whatever. Make it upstairs, all goes well, the constant left side pain I was used to is gone. Cool. The PA comes by to see me next morning to discharge me. She tells me it went well but he thinks I have a genetic condition causing hardening of the arteries, also only did one stent. Ok.... I go home, access the online patient portal and pull the cath report. I become shocked....

    Preoperative findings: 1) Total occlusion of Left Anterior Descending Artery.

    How? How was this not know before the procedure, after the detailed scans? HOW AM I EVEN ALIVE?

    Ok, I said CDing was tied in. Here's how: Through work, I used the Employee Assistance Program to see a therapist. The one I saw until October helped me with work issues but had no experience with CD/TG issues, so she recommended another. That one was not taking patients so I found one that did telehealth. We have talked about how I know I am not gonna live forever, and trying to balance Allison with my male side has been even more difficult lately- kids are always home and there's not much girl time. I don't wanna leave this life feeling like I didn't fully live it. At this point, I've finally accepted Allison is me, period. I don't know how to define that, I don't need to live full time, sex change, etc, but I feel like my male and female sides have to both be able to live together, and knowing that once again, I've walked away from something I shouldn't have, I have to live my life as I see fit, not trying to conform to everyone else's expectations.

    Anyway, a bit of a rant but the lesson is, you don't know when your time is up, so live your life.
    Life is too short to be boring.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member DianeT's Avatar
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    Allison, what a strange experience you had. I hope all goes well for you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    Allison - Firstly, I hope you are doing well and your health issues are now behind you. I have had health issues as well of late and have come to the same conclusion as you - I don't want to leave this life feeling like I didn't fully live it. Those words really resonate with me, simply stated, but so true. For years I denied the feminine side of me, but since embracing it I have felt so much better, more complete, and I no longer feel that I have missed something important. I now live my life as I see fit. Thank you for further validating that with your words.

  4. #4
    Aspiring Member DanielleDubois's Avatar
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    In the last year I have stents put in on two separate occasions and since I was not exhibiting any major symptoms my attitude has been I was fortunate to have been treated before a serious cardiac incident. I like to think it is good karma for having been basically a good person all of my life. I also had bowel cancer surgery done 5 years ago... so now officially cancer free... and it was after that surgery I realised in the big picture of things my crossdressing wasn't such a big deal and I am now much more relaxed with my Danielle time.

    During my stent procedures I had been administered mild twilight anaesthesia but I was almost fully aware during the procedure. The morning after the procedure when the doctor was checking me out of the hospital the cardiologist started to go over exactly what he had done and I interrupted and told him all the details I had heard during the procedure. He was impressed and said you really were paying attention. The cardiologist went through my wrist not my groin which means you do not have to be immobilised for several hours after the procedure and can get back to regular activities much sooner without worrying about any post operation bleeding.

    Congratulations on the positive and timely outcome of your procedure.
    As you have said look on the bright side and enjoy life.

  5. #5
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    Allison, congrats on surviving, about 20 years ago I was given last rites following an accident, spent 1 month in the hospital and 3 months in a rehab, got back to work and retired but now am on my third career, you'll be back in the game soon enough!

    The funny thing is my wife noticed changes in my personality as I had a significant concussion, the first neuro visit did not go well at all and she hoped with all the scrambling my brain had been through that maybe the CD thingy got washed out. Sorry to let her know but it didn't, that's been proven too many times over since!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    True?very true. I often struggle in reconciling the expectations that I think others may have of me and the life I wish to live.

  7. #7
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    OMG, Allison! I hope all goes well with your future treatments!

    Reading your post reminds of when I discovered cd.com those many years ago. And, after reading so many posts about "the girl inside me", I waited patiently for mine to appear!

    Only to find out 3 years later I DON'T HAVE ONE!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  8. #8
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    I've written here many times that for me one of the worst things for folks to do is go to their death bed going, "I wish I'd..."

  9. #9
    Member nancy58's Avatar
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    Allison, I can't imagine -- no, I try not to imagine, because I feel I lack the courage -- facing news like you're facing. I want to leave the next generation with good memories of me, but I also don't want to find myself on death's door saying "I wish I had...", as Helen put it so well. In my last therapy session, I told my therapist that I had stashed my most recent souvenir photo of myself in my journal for my own enjoyment and so my daughter could find it while going through my things. She commented that maybe I could share it with my daughter sooner. And I think now of my own father, who spent his last years drinking too much vodka and trying to drown some dissatisfaction; he never said what it was, and I was afraid to ask, and now I'll never know.

    One thing I'm trying to do of late is to arrange my affairs so that when the time comes, my daughter won't have so much to deal with and can resume life. And yes, that needs to include letting her know that this part of my life caused inner conflict, but she is the thing that gives me the most joy.

  10. #10
    Yendis Sidney's Avatar
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    I am so happy you survived. This past Friday morning I had my sixth and seventh stents. About 11PM on Thursday I started getting a feeling unfortunately I have become all to familiar with and had my wife call an ambulance and off to the ER. Was diagnosed with possible artery blockage. Long story short I was admitted and at 7AM on Friday was in Cath lab getting two more stents. Friday evening I was back home feeling fine. I hope I can put this next part into perspective. When I first came out to my wife it almost ended in divorce. Gradually there was tolerance, then acceptance. Several years ago I posted about my fifth
    Stent and my wife and adult daughter came to bring me home. When they walked in the room and handed me my cloths to wear home inside was panties, nightgown, robe and matching slippers. My wife said she didn't care what I wore as long as I kept coming home to her. That was the day I totally accepted Sidney as did my wife who now encourages my dressing. I suppose what I'm trying to say is one day I will not make it to the hospital and my life will be over. My wife and I know that day will come for each of us and it can't be stopped. As a result everytime something like this happens it brings us closer together. So sometimes there is a silver lining to what seems a bad situation. Again glad you are doing fine and have a speedy recovery.

  11. #11
    Member Rileyaz's Avatar
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    Allison,
    So did they do the bypass, or are you scheduled for one? Or was it just a stent?

    Riley

  12. #12
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    Allison, Hope you are doing ok. Very wise words and totally true.

  13. #13
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    Allison, hope all will be well in the future. You're too young (42) for this condition. You're an example as to why everyone should have an annual check up. As one can say "You never know when your time us up." Unfortunately, life is a balancing act. There are things I wish I did or did differently. But, that's life. Some choices cannot be undone. I don't live in a vacuum. It's always a challenge to get the "balance."

  14. #14
    Fun Member Natalie5004's Avatar
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    Sage advice. Thank you.

  15. #15
    Junior Member SavannahVee's Avatar
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    That is the thought that led me to really pursue being Savannah....Wishing you good health!

  16. #16
    Just another 'Gurl' Kitty Sue's Avatar
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    What a story. Hope things improve for you.
    Just another man in a dress

  17. #17
    Senior Member Read only Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. I realized when I was typing this the other day, I may have been thinking rather haphazardly. I apologize if it was difficult to read. To answer a few questions, I had bypass surgery in 2014. I am not facing that again anytime soon that I am aware of. I had a condition when I was nine months old called Kawasaki's disease, which damaged my coronary arteries, resulting in four aneurysms that fortunately did not rupture. Over time, however scar tissue buildup, layer after layer, until at age 34 but it completely blocked off my right, front, and rear main arteries. This is why I had to have my bypass then. This most recent hospitalization was due to soft plaque buildup, which is completely unrelated to the Kawasaki's damage. So this is a new thing for me. This was the third time I've had to be stented., So even though I tend to take it lightly, at least as it compares to actual surgery, it certainly should not be minimized as far as the potential for problems. If it was not clear, the local anesthesia it worked fine, it was the versed that was supposed to produce the "twilight "feeling that didn't happen. I really don't think the doctor gave it to me even though the cath report says he did.. I am fortunate in that I have a retired cardiologist friend who lives in another state, he had the same disease I had as a kid, and we often share information with each other. I had him review my cath report, along with the report from my stress test, and he was at a loss for words to explain how the LAD could be blocked without seeing it prior to the cath. So I have another cardiologist in mind, and will be seeing him for a second opinion. I am not satisfied with the answer I got when I asked what I could do to prevent this in the future. I was told it's 80% genetic and only 20% controllable through diet and medication. I simply do not accept that answer, I believe something else could be done, I just don't know what.

    With that said, there's another element I should add here. I showed up to the hospital in women's jeans and, of course I switched to panties 24 seven a long time ago, and quit worrying about the consequences. After working in a hospital, I know that people have more important things to worry about. I can tell you from having worked in the ER several times, there is the remote possibility that someone May laugh with a coworker later in a break area, possibly even after work, about something a patient said or did, but you should never hear about it while you're actually in the hospital. They certainly will not put anything in a report that would be embarrassing.
    Last edited by Allison Chaynes; 12-14-2021 at 11:18 PM.
    Life is too short to be boring.

  18. #18
    Aspiring Member DanielleDubois's Avatar
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    Based on my wife's experience I would find another cardiologist that you hear good recommendations about. My wife had bypass surgery in 2016 and the cardiologist she had at the time turned out to be polite, basically "incompetent". He had missed major warning signs and had not ever done a stress echocardiogram which would have diagnosed her problems sooner. The cardiac surgeon was fantastic and her current cardiologist , and mine also, is excellent and after seeing the coronary angiogram the first cardiologist had done , without trying to be unprofessional expressed surprise he had missed a couple of blockages.

    The good news is although a lot of the cardiac disease can be genetic as in my wife's case, diet and medication can be very helpful. My wife went on a fairly strict low fat , no red meat diet, and in combination with her medication, the cardiologist has said her blood tests indicate she has actually started to reverse the plaque buildup process in her arteries.

    My wife was asymptomatic for the classic signs of heart disease, not overweight, always a non smoker and in good physical health so it is important everyone gets their regular checkups. She was seeing her GP and cardiologist to manage her high blood pressure and she is alive today because she didn't ignore the importance of seeing a doctor regularly even if you think you are in good health.

  19. #19
    Oh to be an English Rose Jane G's Avatar
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    Wow what an adventure. Yet more to come.

    We each have our wish list and the things we need to live balanced against it. I was planning to walk on the moors in drab today, but the weather is rubbish, so I choose to dress and enjoy my day, at home hiding from the word in a sense, but happy with where and who I am. My wish list has mainly mountains I wish to climb on it these days. I'm Jane in my mind whether dressed male or female. But in order to achieve the things that mater most to me, in my remaining years I choose to hide Jane away and get on with the other things. Not an easy choice. But it is what is working for me. Life is a balancing act.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Read only Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Danielle, she sounds like she is doing a great job. Her story clearly illustrates the need to ask questions and not just accept things at face value. I am switching doctors, I have a friend who is a retired cardiologist who had the same disease as me, and I asked him to review the report. He could not come up with a reason for the disparity. His recommendation was to definitely at a minimum get a second opinion. But he really feels I need to switch doctors as well.

    Jane, your comment resonates very strongly with me. I know for some of us we can't always be what we want all the time, but life is about prioritizing things at the right times. I think you have nailed it here.
    Life is too short to be boring.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Davina2833's Avatar
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    Allison,

    please clear some message space, your in box is full. please p.m. me thanks,

    Davina

  22. #22
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Allison, I'm more concerned about your comment, "--- to live your life while u can." R u doing that or have u swept that under the rug?

    I've been so lucky to live my life the way I wanted to ever since I got out of school. Except for the service and my marriage.

    And, I feel so sorry for others that have trapped themselves into lives they don't enjoy until it's too late!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Read only Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Doc, I would say at times, yes, but not as much as I would like to. I feel like somethings have to be suppressed to appease others, or avoid causing problems for other people. However, I feel I can do more than what I am doing to be authentic. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but to me it does. I would further add, but I have really enjoyed reading your posts over the years, and remember seeing you on a TV show at one point, and appreciate the things that you have done to help support the community.


    Ladies, I apologize about my inbox, it does seem to fill up quickly even though there aren't that many messages in there. I deleted enough that I should be able to receive a few now. Thanks
    Life is too short to be boring.

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