Monday, June 30, 2008

June Update 6

I have now completed 3 weeks of my 5 week long shift. I went to Northern Ireland for 4 days to provide field training with the formation tester for two of our engineers. The rig was BDF 28 drilling near Ballycastle in the North East near to the Giant's Causeway. The borehole conditions were very poor and the drilling crew struggled to ream out and clean out the well so that we could log. Eventually it was decided that it was not worth the effort and we were stood down. This gave us the chance to visit the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick A Rede rope bridge where I saw Guillemots nesting on the cliffs, both worth seeing if you are in the area.
I had no difficulty with customs at either Edinburgh or Belfast City (George Best) Airport. My workmates ate at the restaurants and drank in the pubs with me without any noticeable problem. The only problem I had was with a group of half drunk young ladies who felt that making me the but of their jokes would be fun. I ignored them and since my normal pace of walking is faster than most they were soon left behind. I do sometimes attract this kind of low level abuse and I am finding it less upsetting day by day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June Update 5

This is the end of my second week on shift. I only have one negative item to report. I heard a workmate of mine (although not in my department and not someone I often work with) refer to me in a distinctly derogatory fashion based entirely on the fact that I am transexual. There was a closed door between us at the time so perhaps I wasn't supposed to hear, but who knows. The head of our Human Resources Department has requested that such instances are reported instantly but I fear that this will make my re-integration into the workforce harder, not easier so my feelings on the matter are that it should be forgotten. Fortunately this is an isolated incident and although I can tell from their body language that some of my workmates are uncomfortable with or even antagonistic to my presence I have been subjected to no other abuse. In fact the vast majority of those I work with, including everybody in my department have been as friendly as they ever were.

I used my new passport this week. I travelled to France to run a formation tester which in the end was cancelled before I got to rig up on the well. I did not compromise, in terms of dress or deportment. I was not tempted to pretend to be male for the journey. I was nervous of passing through customs, having heard of the horror stories of others but in the event the officers at border control actually paid less attention to me than they did before. I stayed in a small hotel in Arcis-sur-Aube called the Hotel du Pont de Chalons which is worthy of mention because of the kindness and courtesy of the staff. I will use it again if I am in the area in the future.

I have been asked by a workmate what effect the hormones I am taking will have. I think this is a fair question, so I will answer it here.

I am using 100 microgram oestradiol patches (Estradot) which I change every 3 days. The known side effects are, the blockage of Testosterone function, decreased sperm production, low libido, breast developement, softening and feminising of facial features, movement of fat deposits from the stomach area to the hips and thighs, possible increase in blood pressure, an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis which comes with blood pressure increases and an increased risk of breast cancer, which comes with breast developement. Most of these symptoms are, from my point of view desirable. My blood pressure was unusually low before I started the hormone treatment, therfore the effect of the hormones is likely to bring my blood pressure up to a more normal level not to send it to a dangerously high level. Of course, I think the risks are worth taking otherwise I would not have started

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June Update 4

I have been back at work for just over a week. My workmates have just got on with there working days without becoming concerned with me. I have had no hassle, no adverse comments and no insults of any kind from anyone at work. I am rapidly resuming my place as part of the furniture and have had no difficulty getting on with bossing those people around who are currently subject to my whim.

My employers have provided me with access to a counsellor in Aberdeen whom I have now visited for the first time. This first visit was mainly a background information gathering visit with no real issues to discuss for which I needed specific help.

I am replacing the hormone patches, mostly on time with just one occasion when I was a few hours late.

I have now got my passport back and as of now, with a few minor exceptions all my documentation is in my new name.

I live in a staff house in Aberdeen when on shift with two other workmates. As shifts end and begin, the identities of my housemates changes, but so far none of my housemates has shown any indication that they find my prescence irksome, and they have had no difficulty being seen in public with me when, for example, we go to the supermarket or to the takeaway.

Everything, with respect to work is proceeding well so far, I'll post again soon.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

June Update 3

I am back at work in Aberdeen now. For most of my workmates this is the first time they have seen me presenting myself as a woman. So far everyone has treated me with courtesy and respect. Those who share the staff house with me have given me the impression that it is business as usual. They have not thought twice about being seen in public with me, they have not really treated me any differently to the way they interacted with me previously. I am very impressed. So far so good.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

June Update 2

I went to see the consultant in London on 2nd June and as a result of this visit, I have started hormone therapy. I chose a rail ticket which did not allow a return journey until after 19:30 so my wife and I had time to spare after visiting the doctor which we spent shopping on Oxford Street. I have never had a wedding ring, so with this in mind my wife took me to a jewellers where an appropriate ring was purchased. We also had dinner at Garfunkels, I bought some makeup at Lewis's and we found some gifts for our children. This filled in the time such that we arrived back at St.Pancras just in time for the 19:30 train back to Nottingham.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June Update 1

The Ka broke down in Crich on the way back from the sister-in-laws. Used the Citroen to tow it back with youngest brother's help. The aforementioned brother was mildly critical of me for not returning home as soon as the engine overheated and the battery warning light came on, but there you go.

Went back to the hairdressers to get the hair back in order prior to visiting the doc in London on 2nd June.