All posts for the month June, 2015

Week 70 – Day 2 : Having pride in yourself.

Published June 23, 2015 by Katier Scott

My blog seems to be taking on a bit more of a motivational angle over the last few weeks, I guess it’s understandable as it’s a reflection of what I’m going day-to-day, however I really hope that people are getting something out of these posts. I find it really hard to know whether I should keep going, there’s the book going alongside this blog to think about, of course, but the number of followers on the blog has stagnated and I don’t know why. I’m no blogging expert, or expert on how to increase followers, I have of course got an increase in numbers to a degree through Facebook as my friends list has increased, but most of the time I’m willing to bet the post gets lost in a sea of other posts. This isn’t me looking for self pity, or anything similar, it’s simply a case of not understanding, or knowing, what makes a good blog, whether my blog ‘is’ a good blog, and all the other ingredients that go with blogging.

Ultimately I’d really like to sell some copies of ‘Born a Woman’ when it’s published, and this blog was, alongside being intended to be helpful and interesting, also the front face of marketing for that, and if I’m not getting followers that’s failing somewhat. I’ve not lost the will to write the book, it’s stagnated a little but that’s purely bad time management, but definitely keeping going with it. It’s just the blog I’m getting a little frustrated with.

That said I’m proud of what I have achieved, I was reading a website earlier and it made me realise just how powerful pride is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This photo is of me during The Suffering race I took part in a few weeks ago and I love it. Not only does it really capture the feeling of the race. Many event photo’s catch moments, but don’t really capture the feeling of an event, I feel the composition of this photo really manages that brilliantly.

This was taken at around 10km into the race, we’d recently waded through deep muddy water, hence the black all over my lower half, and I was struggling with my knee. I was also starting to feel the cold, despite the fact it was a beautiful sunny day.

I’m extremely proud of finishing this event, and just like last weeks post on achievements, pride is a great way to remember things aren’t all bad. Pride makes you feel good and can be linked to achievements or completely separate.

I’m proud of my kids, like all kids they’ve had their moments, but my daughter has a degree and a job, my eldest son successfully got himself on an apprenticeship, completed it, and my youngest is hopefully going to University in September. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like, but they’re at an age when I think that’s not unusual and they always know I’m here.

I’m proud of who I am, I have my faults, I’m far from perfect, and I’m going through a period of of understanding myself better, but I don’t think it’s wrong to be proud of myself.

I’m getting a lovely smile on my face thinking about the different things that make me feel proud, my Roller Derby team, my brilliant friends, my degree, getting into University again – wow boy am I proud of that, one of my biggest achievements and I’ve not even started the course!

So what are you proud of? Being proud of things are similar to the achievements in last weeks posts, and some will be the same, but they can also be much more, kids and having friends, or being proud of who you are, aren’t really achievements, but they are important all the same.

Anyway that’s enough of my rambling this week, I’d really appreciate some thoughts, both about the blog, and my recent posts, are they useful?


Week 69 – Day 7 : The overachiever?

Published June 21, 2015 by Katier Scott

I love doing the little facebook quizzes that crop up from time to time, they can be fun and I find them interesting to see how close to ‘me’ or what I perceive as ‘me’ they are. I decided one of these results was simply too pretentious to post, but when discussing it with a friend we realised that while ‘overachiever’ was probably inaccurate, I DO love achieving things.

So that’s how this weeks blog came about, talking about achievement. In much the same way as I talked about setting goals a few weeks ago, I think it’s absolutely important not to forget your achievements. They can pick you up when your feeling down or just present happy memories, and the fact is, we all achieve things and it’s easy to not realise, perhaps even think you’ve done nothing with your life.

When the conversation with my friend started I really disagreed with the overachiever part of the quiz answer, but she said “You love achieving.” – and she’s absolutely dead right, I do love meeting goals, achieving stuff and really that attitude has come around since I started my degree in 2007.

But that said when I look back, there are still achievements I am really proud of. When I used to play cricket, many years ago, I score 113 against a team I would later play for, it was about my 4th time passed 50 runs, but the first time I’d gone on. Indeed a lot of my achievements would be sporting based, mainly cricket, but they all count. I had some proud achievements at work, working in taxing conditions and finishing projects is never a bad thing to do.

Likewise simply keeping my family fed in a career which suffered a far too high degree of discrimination, redundancy and victimisation – is definitely an achievement. Passing my degree was an achievement that I never thought I would do, but having done so it one of the proudest achievements but since then I am building up memories which are all achievements. Volunteer work, Singing, Race for Life, finishing The Suffering etc. – all achievements and something to be proud of.

I’ll admit, when looking back through my own life, I struggled a bit with the first half of my life, or more, but the achievements were there, so go on, if your feeling like you’ve achieved nothing think about it, I bet you have.. and have some extremely proud achievements to put a smile on your face. It can be anything, from getting a job after a troubled time getting one, through to a 5K run at the end of a Couch to 5K, graduating from uni, getting married (or even simply getting a partner after a time without), achievements are happy memories and I’ve definitely got a smile on my face writing this blog.

So why don’t you think about your own and see if it puts a smile on yours. You may wonder what relevance this has about a blog talking about someone who is Gender Dysphoric, well the fact is, especially when your treatment is stalled, or can be very easy to slip into depression, sadness or frustration. Thinking about what you’ve achieved so far will hopefully make you realise things aren’t all bad and spur you on to bigger and better achievements.

Week 68 : Day 6 – Successful complaint

Published June 13, 2015 by Katier Scott

I’ll cut to the chase, I won.. well won is probably strong but my complain against Porterbrook clinic was successful, although interestingly the major point of my complain was successful due to a point I didn’t make!!

I had a formal apology for them mis-handling my transfer from CHX as they shouldn’t have re-assessed me, this they admint ‘probably’ delayed my moving onto T-blockers, although it didn’t effect my Hormones. Hopefully this has raised their awareness of the issue at the very least and any future transfers don’t have this delay in their treatment.

The second point I made was centred about delays in my second opinion appointment for surgery and again they agreed that Porterbrook was at fault, although not exactly on the grounds I gave them. I guess this might have been because part of my complaint was surrounding future delays, rather than actual delays. They said that agreed that there are actual delays and that’s good, but also, and more importantly, have put in place a plan to limit any future delays.

Essentially they told me that Porterbrook, being one of the smaller clinics in the UK, discusses all patients in meetings with all consultants, so even if you don’t see a particular consultant apparently they can’t be considered to be ‘independent’ for the purposes of clinical referrals for surgery. The fact they can do it for hormones (which also needs two referrals in effect) does make this slightly strange, however, and if any medical professionals who read this would like to comment I’m all ears.

However it turns out that currently Porterbrook only do referrals for surgery every 3 months, which means my first referral won’t go through until this month, 4 months (or near enough 18 weeks) since I had been on hormones for 12 months and thus falling outside the 18 week NHS contract. As part of a procedure update this week be reduced to a month for future patients, so that’ll help them, but for me the big ‘win’ is that they are going to contact all gender clinics and arrange an appointment as soon as possible. Obviously if this comes back as anything more than a few weeks I’ll be carrying on with the complaint as, because I’m currently on the treatment path, and it’s a single appointment for second opinion, it shouldn’t be subject to any waiting times commonly suffered by people waiting for their first appointments.

So while it’s not the end of the story, it shows complaints DO work and are worth doing, in the right situation. If you are going to complain I would look at two things. Firstly as to whether the complaint is sensible, if your complaining about waiting for your initial appointment, then it’s probably be better to be proactive and try to find somewhere with a shorter wait time. Secondly make sure you understand the grounds for your complaint and make sure you refer to the regulations, procedures and guidelines the NHS works to when making your complaint.

Saying ‘XYZ gender clinic is crap with horrible delays’ isn’t likely to get far, but make it a proper, well written, complaint with clear aims at what your trying to achieve through the complaint. Refer to the aforementioned procedures, include a run down of your life and treatment to the point, and  connect the dots so it’s clear what the basis of your complaint is. Also suggest solutions, and make them sensible, I suggested three, and Porterbrook came up with a 4th, if the timings for the 4th are ok, then that’s great, if not, then I can just go back to my suggestions and fight harder.

Week 67 : Day 2 – Living Life one Goal at a time.

Published June 2, 2015 by Katier Scott

When I started Roller Derby in later February I really didn’t expect my life to change so much in so short a time. In many ways it’s not changed at all, but my perspective and the way I look at myself, what I’m getting up to and what I’m thinking about has changed a lot.

One way it’s changed is the subject of this weeks post, the way I think of targets, and on reflection how I believe they can help anyone, where ever they are. Give yourself realistic goals, enjoy your successes and use them to try to help move on with life.

I set myself a target which was pretty optomistic when I started Roller Derby, then surprised myself when I came closer to the goal than I expected, which resulted in over confidence and ultimately probably made me come over as a person I wouldn’t want to be.

Conversations with friends followed and I realised I needed to tone myself down, look at what I wanted to do in smaller steps and actually set goals which were more realistic. For example last weekend I did an event called the South Coast Roll, it’s an event held at Goodwood Motorracing Circuit in the south of England and involves doing laps of the circuit on Roller Skates, Skateboards, Scooters, wheel chairs or similar forms of transport.

I gave myself a target that I felt was realistic, 4-6 laps or 10-14.4 miles, with each lap being 2.4 miles and the actual target being a half Marathon distance. I felt it was a realistic target as I had 5 hours to skate, knew I could cope with that long on skates from a Boot Camp I had done, and felt I’d have plenty of time to rest if required. In the event I managed 16.8 miles, 7 laps, and was really pleased, I had achieved and beaten a personal goal – and done so partially because I’d considered what was realistic and stuck to my guns. I would LOVED to have aimed for 11 laps, i.e. a Marathon, but knew that was a hard, or unrealistic target, and thus would have been disappointed at the end of the event.

Such a mentality can work in anything, in my opinion, and goals can be small, baby steps, things that get you one little step to a bigger target.

So maybe your just starting the journey in your real gender, but your feeling nervous about simply going to the local shops as the real you. Maybe initially just set the target of walking to the end of your road and back, maybe even wait till it’s a time of the day when it’s quiet. Give yourself some confidence just by getting out. Just a small step, in a big journey.

Maybe your out of work and sitting at home demotivated all day, so set yourself to get out and walk around the local park tomorrow, then set the goal to repeat it every day for a week. Then every day, regardless of the weather, for a month etc.

Or simple things to make you feel better, like getting into a routine, waking up at 8am, getting up, getting dressed, having breakfast, doing the washing up or a bit of housework before 10am.

Stuck at home and short on money? Maybe set yourself of simply going to the Library, or find a group to volunteer with.

There are lots of little goals you can give yourself to help yourself improve your standard of life, and that is what I feel I’ve learnt most in the recent weeks. I’ve been lax with my music in the last month or so, partially down to losing my voice for a month, but also partially because I’ve simply not been organised – so I’m going to set my own goal to teach myself ‘Dirty old town’ with the intent to sing along to it, in the next month. I know it’s a song I can play the chords to, I know the song to sing as I’ve sung it with a good friend of mine, so I feel that’s a perfectly realistic goal.

Hopefully this post will encourage you all to think about little goals aimed at improving your standard of life, they can have timescales, like mine above, or simply improving an aspect of your life, yourself or a skill your working on. For example my roller derby goals (alongside simply improving skills) are to improve the quality of my cross-overs and transitions. It’ll be an ongoing pair of skills, probably for quite a while – and most likely for most of my derby career, but it’s a goal to simply keep improving it. At some point another skill will become the same ‘goal’ but it’s simply me trying to improve my ability in a sport I love.

I’d love to hear about any goals you set yourself, feel free to comment or send me a message about what you think about this weeks thoughts.