I had hoped that this post would be a summation of my exciting day at Madison’s LGBT pride parade, which was held this past Sunday afternoon. And I had hoped to be telling you about how I marched in that very parade. And I had hoped this post would be chock full of photos of the event and me appearing as Allison — Surprise, Madison! — to the populace of our fair city.
Well, unfortunately for me, fate had another surprise awaiting me.
The early weather forecasts did have the potential for rain to hit Madison on Sunday. Had there been a real chance, I would probably have had to leave Allison at home (she doesn’t like to have Mother Nature dump on her too much) and just go as my male mode self. In that case, at least, I still would’ve been supporting and participating in the parade.
There were indeed some cloudiness by the time Sunday morning came around, but any major chance of rain was skirting us to the South of town. So, I figured it would be best to start getting dressed up. After showering up, shaving my legs and arms, and picking out an outfit and wig to wear, I started applying my makeup. That’s when I realized, you know, I should turn on my phone and check my messages. Now, here’s where I must make a confession about my male side: He doesn’t check his phone too often during the weekend, sometimes leaving it off for quite a while. I don’t make too many calls, nor do I expect too many messages. This weekend was different, however: My mom left me a message on Saturday afternoon; I had planned to drive over and visit her Monday afternoon (I would be taking that day off from work) and sign, uh, some certain papers (I’ll talk about them some other time). Mom, however, told me her Monday shift at the nursing home where she worked had changed, and she wondered if I was willing to change my plans for coming up.
That was Mom’s first voice message. Her second one came just a few minutes before I (finally) turned on my phone Sunday morning. This time, Mom sounded a bit urgent. She also sounded upset. “Geez, why don’t you turn your phone on?” she stated. She then told me my sister was sick and she needed to go to the hospital for an operation. She was so frantic that she didn’t elaborate further. And besides, her break at the nursing home was about to end.
The thing about my mom is that when she has an urgent, upset tone in her voice — that is, when she sounds as if she’s freaking out — that makes me freak out. I left Mom a message after I heard her message, then ringed up my youngest sister, who gave me the skinny: Our sister started suffering sharp pains in her back Saturday afternoon; overnight, the pain became so bad that she had to go to the emergency room. The docs there determined she had a stone in her left kidney. After being prescribed pain medication, ultrasounds on Sunday morning revealed the stone was massive, 5×9 millimeters. (Yeah, pretty painful.) By comparison, little sis suffered from her own kidney stones in the past, 3×3 millimeters in size, and she wasn’t in that much pain when she gave birth.
Of course, all of this information started making me freak out. And at that point, there was only one thing left for me to do: Wipe off any makeup I had on to that point, strip out of Allison’s dress, put on some male mode jeans and shirt, and make a beeline to Mom’s house. Allison’s opportunity to march in the pride parade was out of the question.
My mom was already home from work when I arrived, so I signed her papers (again, I’ll talk about them again some other time) and we waited (me, my mom, and her housemate) to hear back from my sister. When we did hear from her, we learned she still had the stone in her kidney and she still had to take prescribed pain relievers (once every 6 hours, whether she was in pain or not). The doctors figured, well, if she isn’t in too much discomfort, why interrupt the surgeon’s golf game?
At least Sis seemed in good spirits when we went to her house (me, my mom, and little sis, who came down with her boyfriend to pick up a freezer Mom didn’t have a use for). She took us on a mini-tour of the remodeling job our stepbrother was working on for her and her husband; I must give kudos to Ugly Evil Stepbrother for the awesome job he’s done so far to their main bathroom (the old light fixtures made it look so dank).
As I write this on Tuesday night, Sis still has that stone in her kidney yet. (*sigh* Ugh.) She did, however, see the doctor today, and she will see him again this Friday morning. And at that time, she will undergo surgery to blast that stone out of there. The procedure is called lithotripsy, and judging from the Wikipedia entry describing the process, it doesn’t sound too invasive (some shock wave or ultrasonic process; perhaps even a laser process if it comes to that). Between now and then, Sis will have to take it real easy and not do too much strenuous movements, lest that stone cause too much discomfort. (The kidney is still in good condition, for the record.) She is holding up well and seems optimistic about the process. I’m still a little bit nervous for her, but I’m crossing my fingers and hope she recovers well and doesn’t have too much difficulties between now and the procedure on Friday.
Oh, yeah, the pride parade… Well, of course, since I had to hightail it out of town to tend to my family, I couldn’t attend or march in the Madison parade, so I must live vicariously through these pictures and this newspaper writeup; it indeed looked like an awesome time. I should note that the theme of this year’s parade was “The ‘T’ Is Not Silent!” The “T,” of course, is for the “trans” of the LGBT spectrum (transgender, transsexual), folks who still face oppression and harassment and still need support. Respect and support are still important to my TG sisters and brothers; here’s hoping we will gain more needed respect and acceptance in our lives, whether we live full time as the genders we know we are, or as a part-time gender bender such as me.
As for presenting Allison to the people… the more I’ve thought about it since Sunday, the more I think that perhaps it’s not so bad to start small and seek out peer support. I’m considering seeking and attending a crossdressers support group. I believe there is one that still meets at least once a month at OutReach here in Madison, and I’m interested in meeting up with them.
Oh, and despite dealing with my family matters and not being able to march in the parade, there was one good thing about the day: My legs haven’t felt so smooth in quite a while. Nair certainly works wonders.