How Many Sticks?

There’s that old saying about the stick that broke the camel’s back. I’m feeling like that these days. The past six years have been exceptionally difficult ones. I’ll review, quite briefly:

2010: My father was dying all that year and finally fell and broke his hip, or broke his hip and fell. We gave him a good end in hospice care, making sure he had closure and laid him next to my mom.

2011: Grieving, which probably stopped being grieving after the first six months quickly devolved into depression and a fixation on transitioning to female. As 2011 ended I had a scare with prostate cancer, which was its own variation of pain with messages being left on Friday afternoons to maximize my panic.

2012: In April I reached a breaking point with my clinical depression rendering me non-functional and finally came out as trans. Over the next couple of months I found help with medication for depression and therapy for being trans and figuring out my course of action. This also started a pretty awkward year between my spouse and me which was witnessed by our daughter, who graduated about 2 weeks after I came out.

2013: Our daughter moved out and a few months later I reached the point that I decided I needed to transition. More stress at home. The last pleasant conversation I had with our daughter until just before surgery was Father’s day 2013.

2014: I went full time at work and the clock started on SRS, but at that point we were living comfortably and pretty happily. We had gotten past most of the big issues. Yet both of us knew it was an artificial calm.

2015: The year being up we started talking, calmly about things. I finally found a way to tell her I was likely straight, and we decided that we needed to separate. Not an easy decision, but the right one. No rancor and plenty of love.

I moved out, had my surgery, and recuperated.

Now the sun just had started to peek out. I’ve felt somewhat recovered with at least some energy returning, and getting back to a full schedule at work.

I was scheduled to see my neurologist, who I see for migraine, last Friday. For the past two years or so I’ve had a tremor on my right side and I had been told it was nothing much to worry about. Well, he did some tests, and some more tests and had me walk this way and that and had another doctor come in. Something was up.

He said Parkinson’s. I was crushed. I know it isn’t life limiting. I know it’s treatable to an extent and we’ll improve on that in time for me in all likelihood, but really? I’ve lost my wife’s entire family, I’ve lost my daughter at least for now, I’m losing my marriage, I’ve had to transition and have major surgery, I risked my career and had to leave my home of 25 years and now this?

It’s true I have some blessings to count, food, shelter, clean water and enough money to get by. I have some girlfriends and my community and I kept my job. Still, that’s about it. I feel fortunate the news wasn’t worse, but really, am I supposed to be grateful he didn’t tell me I had cancer?

I’m adjusting to the news. I did know there was something going on. The shaking was sometimes uncontrollable. There are times I lose my train of thought entirely. I don’t know that being able to label it really makes it any better.



2 thoughts on “How Many Sticks?

  1. The dark times provide an opportunity to either stand up and live or lie down and be crushed, They also, thank god, remind us that we have true friends and family who are and will be there for us, and who are not just there for sunny skies and cheery music.


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