I´m not sure whether I should start this post with a joke or with a long lament about the cruelties of life. Fact is I am facing a very uncertain future as of this moment and I´m having a lot of trouble with it. It all started end February, when I fractured my big toe of the right foot. I was in a very dark place – depression had a firm grip on me and I did not feel stable.
I went to the doctor and got fixed up with a cast. After two weeks, I got one of the worst pains I´ve ever experienced. I thought I was going to pass out. I was dissociating from my body and decided that the cast needed to come off – so I grabbed a small metal saw and started cutting. I was worried about what I saw when the cast came off. My foot was three times its size, burning, and purple.
Time carried on as I tried to heal – even though the fracture had mended, the swelling wouldn´t budge. When I posted a picture of it on Facebook, my aunt (who has had CRPS) recognized the symptoms and advised to get treatment as soon as possible. I tried to exercise my foot a little bit everyday, massaged it and bathed it to get the circulation going. It seemed to improve.
In the meantime things were looking up a bit for me (since I had now decided to quit the VUMC gender clinic), but I was still in a dark place of my mind, and still had trouble processing some very difficult emotion. Four weeks ago I fractured the joint of my big toe on the left foot and since the CRPS has also spread there. Now, with CRPS in both limbs, I was even less mobile.
In and of itself this is all very shitty. CRPS is a mean disease – it´s basically a disruption of the nervous system that causes extreme inflammation, discoloration, burning and decay of tissue in the affected area. It can spread to other extremities and, in severe cases, to internal organs – a risk that is exacerbated by re-injury, or procedures such as surgery.
Which means that I have to reconsider my entire transition. I can get testosterone, but then what? I´ll be more male, but still in a female body. The contrast (and possibly the mental discomfort) might be even bigger than it is now. Basically, I feel like I have an impossible decision to make: live in the body that I need or live without severe CRPS.