13 July 2008

Seven Steps, Giddy-Up

On Wednesday, two days after I started this blog, Regina--a counselor in the Office of Disabled Students at the college where I work--said that I've taken three steps toward my operation and have 362 to go. She said that when I get to the last twenty or ten, it might become scary. But not to worry, she says.

Besides being one of the nicest and most empathetic people I've met in a long time, Regina is a social worker. She'd worked in a hospital, with people with disabilities, for more than a decade before coming to the college last year. Of course, when you do that sort of work, you may specialize in some area or another, such as people with disabilities. But you also are likely to have experience with some of the other issues that face people and their families--including gender or sexual identity and orientation.

I have, at times, considered a career in social work. Probably the reason why I didn't pursue that idea is that I'm not sure I could deal with people's crises--and the politics of a place like the college, or any college or social service agency--and be the kind of person Regina is.

I mean, how does anyone have enough energy to deal with all of the things that are entangled with the issue for which they seek help? A friend of mine reports that in every twelve-step meeting he has attended, people talked about their sexual problems.

Anyway, as per what Regina said, today is Day Seven of my blog, and my "last" year. Seven steps, 358 to go. One step hasn't been dramatically different from the previous one, but I don't expect that to last.

One thing I wouldn't mind continuing is one of the "fun" side-effects of taking hormones. It's the flip side of crying jags like the one I had a few days ago.

I experienced it today, when I was talking to my mother on the phone. She related a story about a friend of hers who is good of heart but dim of wit. This friend got a call at 2:11(She checked it on her clock.) in the morning from someone who said that her refrigerator was dying.

Now, maybe I've been living in New York too long and am thus cynical. But I'd simply hang up on such a caller. I mean, when does anyone call at that hour but for a sudden death in the family or other emergency?

Anyway, this friend engaged the man in conversation, in an effort to find out who he was. Of course, she got nowhere. But she stayed on the phone with him.

It may not have been the funniest story I ever heard. But I broke out into titters, and didn't stop for at least another twenty minutes. My mother got into it, too, even though she's never been especially prone to giggle fits. (Imagine a book about how to find your Inner Giggler. Would that be a best-seller?) For a moment, anyway, I could say "Like mother, like daughter."

The thing is, we were both enjoying it, and it lifted my spirits for the rest of the day. Not that this one was difficult--just another Sunday.

The doctor told me I'd have giggling fits, but said nothing at all about Sundays. That's OK. I've had lots of Sundays before. My favorite is cherry vanilla ice cream (or even better yet, French vanilla or any other good, rich vanilla, with fresh cherries) covered with hot dark chocolate sauce.

And with the sugar rush I get from that, it'll be a real Giddy-Up time!

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