Filling my shoes pictured above is simple task in the basic sense. Living the life I want is a little more complex. It’s April 1st today as I begin typing. The clocks have moved forward one hour and not one prank here in France that I know of. The sun has returned after strong cold winds and a fair amount of rain which had recently been a daily event. The two most personal activities of the March were hospital visits. I sometimes go to these with a certain amount of trepidation expecting to learn the worse – there goes my over thinking again! My age and heart surgery are like pennants that I carry with me to each and every visit as if walking into battle. The process has been slow here and most likely the same anywhere else, unless you can afford private treatment.
On my recent visit to the hospital in Lyon I met Dr Morel-Journel, the top surgeon in France for my needs. However, I learnt of the four year waiting list for the five hour operation that would be a major part of my transition and resolve an important aspect in my life. My second meeting was with the psychiatrist who posed a valid question of whether I wished to continue with the team at Lyon in view of the waiting time. I have left the door open at Lyon should I wish to proceed there. However, I was provided with the name of a doctor in Limoges and was told that he offered the same procedures as Dr Morel-Journel. So I parted Lyon with a little hope in my heart that day, but my knowledge of the Limoges hospital and transgender treatment did not necessarily bode well. Perhaps things were beginning to change for the better here?
The following morning I had felt deflated and low in spirit as a result of the lengthy delay if I chose Lyon for treatment. So I decided to research the doctor in Limoges, but found no reference to the surgery I seek. Somewhat bemused by my research I sent a message to a friend who had the operation last year in Bordeaux and requested any information that would allow me to make enquires. I was delighted to receive a better reply than I had expected. She was aware of new developments at hospitals in Limoges and Poitiers where the surgery would be available within a year or two. In particular, around the end of the year at Limoges with the imminent arrival of one of the Lyon surgeons, Dr Terrier. With this knowledge, I have since made an appointment with the doctor whose name I was provided with to see if I can register before Dr Terrier arrives.
From what I understand, which could be flawed, a lot still depends upon getting approval for prescribed hormones prior to surgery. In view of delays, my age and health, I am going forward on a high probability that this may never happen as hard as that may be. I have to come to terms with that this may be as far as I can proceed with full transition. Is that my positive outlook on life? I have to remind myself how far I have already moved on with my life and the fact that I am essentially happy living it. Should any of what I would like to be available to me, not be an option, then I am prepared. I will be able to continue to enjoy my life as best as I can.
Music always has been a part of my life and I am happy that it continues to be. I have a short piece of music that I have created with my acoustic guitar which I like the feel of. Unfortunately my creativity is not accommodating any lyrical input at the moment. I would love to write something uplifting to go with it. Creativity is not something you can force to happen like most things in life, but can do things to invoke it, being content and happy is certainly a big plus. So perhaps while I say I am happy with my life, that is not a completely accurate whatever I like to believe.
Hugo is coming into his own since he has been on his own. He loves to sit on my lap in the evenings and is very cuddly. He looks for me when he comes back into the house and is more talkative. I had planted various seed in pots which felt like a good idea at the time, but I have since bought some flowers for my baskets and tubs to enjoy their splendour in the coming warmer days.
I may not find work this summer as things stand right now. The summer season is not far away and I’ve not been contacted by any of the restaurants I have previously worked at. I also have mixed feelings about working this year. At the age of 66 I feel that I should begin to resign myself to the idea of retirement. That’s when the determined driving force side of me says – why?
Should I find myself without work I will take on the task of clearing a piece of land I have below my terrace and grow some vegetables. It will also allow me to enjoy some of the festivals and fetes during the summer. I may even get to play some of my songs in public in the town when they have an amateurs event. So things are not all bad and simply require attention to control of finances. I am always thinking of things to do. Not surprisingly most require funds to make happen so they become restricted.
We have a market in the town which I understand is unique in this department. Most of the food sold there is locally produced and more ecological in many ways apart from being healthy. My friend has a mobile catering van where she sells food on Saturday mornings at the market. While there last weekend I took some photos of her cooking for promotional use. During my visit I had the idea of creating a group page on Facebook for the market. I will offer to take photos of each trader, they can add information about their produce etc. I have put together a draft page with a provisional header image and text. Next Saturday I will return to the market to canvas the traders to learn if they wish to be a part of the group and recruit them to the page. Two of the oldest traders have been there for around 40 years some of two generations or more. It’s an asset and desireable in the age of supermarkets that diminish the numbers of small shops and traders.
I want to be a part of the town that I live in. I have already participated in meetings to develop an office space for co-working, social and business projects with a high-tech bias or otherwise. It’s quite demanding on my language skills to understand everything that goes on, but I feel it’s important to try to be involved and get to know more people in my local area. Not only for me, but to bring a different perspective on matters.
There are just over two weeks until my flight to London when I visit my daughter. I am quite excited at the thought. I know I will worry about Hugo while I am away. At least I will have a friend who will call in and feed Hugo in my absence.
C’est la vie
The thought that prompted me to write this entry is based on how I felt at the start of this month. Basically, a feeling of frustration with my current cirumstances. I am a believer that life is what you make it and how you percive the world but that doesn’t always help. However, what I presently desire in life may not be possible or attainable. I don’t feel ready to retire and my transition is complicated. The later I think is due to my age and health. The waiting for appointments and information creates a lack of awareness and uncertainty to my situation which really doesn’t help. Something I am sure is not helped by my language skills and lack of social knowledge in France.
‘What you want and what you get in life?’ can be two very different things.