Tag Archive | chainmail

Fifteen hundred seventy-six thousand, eight hundred minutes!

2013-09-19 13.27.37 2

The time I’ve spent popping estrogen pills.

That’s right, this is my 3 year anniversary since starting hormones, and now I have rent stuck in my head.

Quite a bit has changed in the past 3 years and I am genuinely glad that I made the decision to transition so long ago, even if I thought I was too old. Trust me, 21 is not too old. It is a daunting step, but absolutely worth it. I have had my fair share of ups and downs, which is partially what I am going to talk about today, but in the end I am still happy with the choices I’ve made.

The last time I gave a substantial update was around the beginning of the year. My girlfriend and I are still together, we are pretty madly in love, which creates it’s own set of problems. More on that later. Over the summer I did some more over-hire work at the music theater, mostly welding. I got to design an awesome set of handles for the gate into Oz (Thats right, we did the wizard of Oz). After that they did Cats, which I only helped on load in for. I was pretty off the wall about it because I am a cat myself. I was freaking out running around the super-sized set pieces and climbing up the steel cat perches suspended above the stage. On opening night I even had a confrontation with one of the cats in the aisle. I meowed at him and he froze, looking at me. I meowed again and as he slowly backed away I hissed. I am mildly insane.

2013-06-26 19.14.56(The handles I designed and built)

Speaking of insane, I am re-evaluating my mental health. My girlfriend recently went into the hospital and is now in Florida trying to get her life back together. Since we are so in love, being apart is wreaking havoc on my emotional well-being (especially with our particular relationship). While she was in the hospital here I had a few mental breakdowns because it was particularly triggering for me. I took a medical leave of absence to get myself figured out this semester. At one point I stopped caring and took a bunch of pills, including 40mg of Ambien. I woke up the next day with my mom sleeping next to me, wondering what the hell happened. Honestly, she probably should have taken me to the hospital.

This whole ordeal has been quite trying on my state of mental health. I am questioning whether the Zoloft and Wellbutrin I am on are doing anything at all. I need to be re-evaluated to determine what my problems actually are. I feel like my anxiety and panic attacks are the root of many of my problems. I’ve had an increasing number of panic attacks recently. I have had some incidents of self harm as well. 

I need to be in some sort of program, and yesterday I was evaluated and referred to a partial hospitalization program, where you are at the hospital from 9am-3pm doing group and individual therapy. I think it will help me, but I am not sure if I actually need inpatient. Last night I had a particularly bad panic attack because I was thinking about all the people I would have to be around in the program. I eventually started scratching myself but had enough willpower to stop myself before any significant damage was done. It scared me a lot. Hopefully I end up where I need to be.

On a more positive note, I have been trying to take this time off from class to do things I’ve always wanted to do. I am trying to expand my Etsy store and this past friday I took a blacksmithing workshop and had a blast making this forged “S” hook and pointer.

2013-09-20 22.11.24

On an even brighter note, I have a consultation on the 19th of November with Christine McGinn in Pennsylvania. I am going to be talking to her about FFS, breast augmentation, as well as GRS. I am making a strong effort to get the procedures covered under insurance. Chances are I will focus on the FFS and breast augmentation first because they will have a greater effect on my self confidence.

Anyways I will try to get some answers up to the Ask Abbey questions that have been piling up in my inbox, sorry to those who haven’t had their questions answered! I am also going to update my face and breast development timelines soon.

Until next time,

Abbey Kat

Ginger who?

Remember me? I’m the ginger who used to post regularly about my transition and life. Speaking of life, that’s probably the reason I haven’t been posting! I apologize for that.

Since it’s nearly a month since my last post I decided it is time for a much needed update. You may recall the last thing I posted about was changing my name, well, I got it changed! I went to court and within an hour I was on the way home with two official copies of my name change papers. *queue cheering* Once I actually got my court date it was incredibly easy. After checking in at the clerks office I had to go into one of the court rooms and wait for a judge/magistrate. There was 20 or so other people waiting with me. When we sat down (my girlfriend, mom, and I) there was another girl behind us who was also changing her name. After a bit of talking I found out she was transitioning as well! It was a nice surprise to see someone else doing the same thing.

After the court official came in she called everyone up to check in and after looking over my papers and signing them she sent me back to the clerks office to have my forms printed. We simply walked back and gave the clerk my papers and waited a few minutes. Then like that I had my name change documents in hand!!

So far I’ve only changed my my name with the school and gotten a new school ID, but I am quite happy. 🙂

Aside from changing my name I have been pretty busy with school and my art. Above is my second set of bracelets inspired by My Little Pony. I’ve been making lots of jewelry lately and last week I found out I was going to have a piece in the student art show again. I decided I needed to make something big, so I came up with an idea to make a giant piece of chainmail out of rebar. Anyone who’s worked with rebar knows that it is not the easiest thing to bend.

With only a week to complete my piece before the deadline my father and I went to work wrapping ½” rebar around a 2-¼” pipe. The process was pretty time consuming considering we needed to wrap 50′ of rebar into 65 rings. After countless hours of torching and bending we created enough rings for my project. After that I went to work weaving and bending them into a sheet of Euro 4 in 1 chainmail.

This is what I ended up with, 27 pounds of rebar, weaved into a 2 square foot sheet of maile. After that I built a mounting bracket out of plate steel and ½” steel rod to mount it on the wall of my schools gallery. I torched and hammered the rod into hooks and then welded them into the plate using an ARC welded.

This it the mount after attaching it to the wall, we had some trouble figuring out how to mount it because the wall behind the drywall is cinderblock but we eventually got it to stay up with some Tapcons. (after snapping off several) The gallery opening is tomorrow night and I am sure I will have some better photos for anyone who is interested. 🙂

Anyways, as always thanks for reading, and I will try and update a bit more often.

Abbey

Day 528 – Good news everyone!

 

After months of waiting I finally heard back about my name change and I have a hearing scheduled for the 13th of this month! After that I can go ahead and get a new license with my new name and an F marker, as well as change my name with the school. It will be such a relief to finally leave my old name behind and be recognized as Abbey by anyone, wether they be school officials, law enforcement, or my bank. I am very excited that I am finally making the next major step in my transition.

I am planning on taking a new set of measurements within the next week or two to see how my body has changed. Breast development seems to have slowed a bit, not surprising considering I’ve been on hormones for nearly one and a half years. I am considering gaining a little weight or increasing my fat intake to see how it effects my growth. My weight has been pretty steady at around 185 for the past year and I could probably do with a little more.

I recently read an interesting article about the use of progesterone in MTF HRT regimens. I was tempted to try taking progesterone myself but all the medical evidence I have seen points toward it having no effect on breast development. In fact the only information that is circulated is mostly rumors and misinformation spread by people who have no medical qualifications. Whatever your standpoint may be on the subject, you can read the article here. It’s only a few pages and is quite informative.

Dr. Richard Curtis seems like a respected member of the transgender healthcare field and works in a clinic in London. The clinic’s website can be found here.

Lately I’ve been getting back into making chainmail jewelry and I am going to try and actually sell some this time. I put in a big order from Theringlord.com that just shipped today and I am excited to get all kinds of colorful and rubbery rings to make beautiful bracelets out of! The necklace above is a piece I made last week after being inspired by another artist’s scale collars. I will probably post some more of my work once I get my new materials.

Anyways I hope everyone is having a great March!

Abbey

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