Wowsaz! It’s been August since I last had wrote a piece. Quite a few things have been happening since then and it’s not that I haven’t wanted to write something. I have been writing elsewhere and mostly responding to emails from people who have found my video interesting. Funny to think that a video from me about Klinefelters Syndrome has attracted over eight thousand views on YouTube and many comments from people just like me saying that it was great! Makes me feel good inside that people are getting something out of it!
Twelve months have gone by in a flash and I thought it would be apt to post this piece on 12/12/12 @ 12:12 exactly! I’ve been on Testosterone now for twelve months and I wanted to document the changes:
- Increased energy levels
- Increased libido
- Increased ability to focus / concentrate
- Noticeable change in positive demeanor
- Facial Hair (not quite a beard – but more than bum fluff!)
- Body Hair (light)
- Confidence Boost
- I haven’t been to the gym yet – although I plan to start going in 2013 as the next change for me is getting fit & attempting to gain muscle mass!
Funny thing is I have noticed some other changes in my general character which I can attribute to the confidence boost. I mentioned to a friend once when we were out having a beer that it’s almost like people can sense the increased amount of Testosterone flowing through my veins – it’s like men instantly want to fight me & women… well women just want to bite me!
Recently I’ve got myself into a few situations, one resulted in me being banned from a certain establishment in Guildford for being confrontational! Prior to taking the treatment I would have just walked away from the situation or hid behind the power of my friends – in this instance I decided to stand my ground against someone much bigger than me – which resulted in me not being allowed to go back to that place. I’m happy that I stood my ground, yet it scared me a little bit how I have changed. At the time, I felt a confidence rush – I guess with great powers come great responsibility and I have to learn to master this new found confidence without it resulting in a negative outcome.
Moving on… my good friend and work colleague came over towards the end of August and we were debating the pitfalls of our age and single life – would we ever be like our other responsible friends and find a relationship. We joked about online dating and over beers began to look at the various catalogs of the opposite sex to see if any would take our fancy. It was decided that I would trial a service for one month – and I’m glad I did!
It was getting towards the end of the month and I had been on a few dates with no amazing outcome, so I decided it was time to remove myself from the service and go back to the single life. Just I was pressing the delete profile button – an instant message popped on my screen… “hello” – well.. I was shocked and thought okay this is weird! Checked out the profile , read the introductory text and thought to myself – this must be a joke. This lady is hot! Really hot and it got me excited! So I decided to respond with the usual “how are you?”
The response that I got back was a bit strange – “I have a problem, can you help me?” – eek, I thought! Turned out that the lady in question didn’t know how to make her SKY TV remote also control the TV. I thought to myself – I KNOW HOW TO DO THIS!!! So I began over messenger to give her step-by-step instructions – to an almost instantaneous reply – “Wow, you are my TV hero!” We swapped numbers and that very week we had our first date, which was on a Wednesday – an awesome Wednesday!
Everything about the date was perfect. I had forgotten all that stuff in my head about “will I ever be able to find someone to love again with this condition?” – it just went and I was for once enjoying the moment. Then I had another one of those confidence boost moments, this time instead of it being confrontational – it was a moment of me being forward – diving in and going for the kiss. It could have ended really badly – but it didn’t , she replied with “wow” (yes she did!) and that she wanted it to happen and was glad that it did! I was so happy! We left the bar (it’s now my favourite bar in Soho) said our goodbyes and I think for the rest of the week I had a perma-smile for once!
Several dates, months later and we are now seeing each other regularly and recently we have visited each others parents houses and everything.. well everything is just perfect – another reason why I haven’t had an opportunity to write much here is that I have been enjoying her company! ;D
Now with all relationships come questions about what happens next – and where we go on our journey. Recently we had a discussion about “plans” for the future and I responded with “I don’t have a plan!” – I’m on a journey. I received a perplexed response – “well you have to have a plan” a notion of where you want to go in life and what you want to do with it. Looking back over the years I had plans, I had great plans – and through this planning I have only ever experienced disaster. I think at the time of the discussion I wasn’t able to articulate how exactly I felt and I mentioned to her last night that I will have to write it down – then maybe she can understand why I never plan for the future, and why I live in the spontaneous world known as Sheridan-Town!
Rewind back to 1998 – I was a university, I met a girl (as you do) & created a plan! The plan was we would move in together, and save for a house – with the hope of one day getting married & settling down for a family. At that time I had no idea about the Klinefelters Syndrome & the thought of having a family was only part of the plan somewhere down the line. So we got engaged, bought a house near to Brighton and continued on the plan – my Dad & his wife and my little brother came to visit us in our house and well this is where the plan drifted off course. My dad had a funny turn whilst visiting us and he was diagnosed with having brain cancer – he had to have several operations whilst in my local area to remove the tumor from his head. My whole world fell apart during this time and the plan went to shit. I neglected the girl and she found love interests elsewhere at work – which caused us to split up, me move out of our house, find a new job and well… start again. This all came after my Dad had passed away, and the road leading to his departure. I couldn’t cope with what was happening around me – I was a mess. Today is Dad’s birthday – every year on the 12th December I remember my dad – rather than remember the day he left us – I remember the day he was born. I miss him dearly!
So.. I moved on – I spent the next year or so living the single life – I didn’t have a plan – I just wanted to live spontaneously. Losing Dad made me realise that you can’t plan for the future as you don’t know what is around the corner – what happened to Dad was really sudden, no one expected it – it just happened & we all had to deal with it and remain strong.
About 9 months after living on my own after the break-up I somehow managed to get myself into another relationship – still unaware of the Klinefelters at this time. Thought I was happy – had a few hiccups along the way but managed to pull through them and create another plan. The plan was that we would save for a house, so we downgraded our lush town center apartment with pool, gym etc and I would also get rid of my sports car!
We decided that the plan would be unconventional – we would get the house first, then look at children, then get married (as you do) So we moved into a rented house and this is where all the problems started! We started to try for children – and had no luck – so I went to the doctors and this is the time in my life a year or two ago when the Klinefelters was discovered. It was a massive shock for both of us – and again the plan fell apart! I guess she wanted a child, a house and follow the same path as all of her friends. So we split up and then three months later I find out that she announces to the world that she is pregnant, moves in with another guy (buys a house) to live happily ever!
I guess these two examples illustrate the way I feel about life planning, ends in some sort of disaster. Yes I found out about the Klinefelters – but then am I better off? I guess I am for being able to change the way that I live and feel much better for it by taking the medication – but now I have a zillion thoughts running through my head whenever someone mentions a plan. This new relationship is quite different to the others, I know about the Klinefelters now and I have had the conversation already. It’s not going to be easy to consider having a family – and the one thing that scares me the most is that we might try it, we might plan for it – and then it might get all too much… going to park these thoughts – something I’ll come back to in another post!
Following on from creating the video I have had many people write to me asking me questions about what it was like growing up. Many teachers, parents and even people with an interest in the condition have reached out to me about my opinions. I’ve had to stress to them that at the time I did not know, my parents did not know about the condition so I can only look back on certain situations and apply the knowledge I have now and how that might have attributed to the way I was feeling at the time. Therefore I have decided to collect some thoughts together and write about what it was like growing up – till the present day. I was working on a book called “Living with the X” – this is still going to be the title, probably going to pan out slightly differently to what I had originally thought.
Another colleague and friend recently designed an amazing illustration of me – and I asked him if I could use it as the cover of my new book. It’s a really cool image and I think it represents me well – and will stand out on a shelf when someone walks by:
In addition to this, he has also created a new logo for the project and it’s really cool! So just one thing to say – thank you David McDonagh
I’m fortunate to have a good job and work for an amazing creative company – each year we get to take a day out of work and either volunteer or raise money for charity. I thought about turning Project 47xxy into a charity. Whilst it is something that I will want to do eventually it’s not something that I can do on my own and need help from people around me to get it off the ground. I came up with an idea to cycle from London to Paris to raise awareness for the condition and I would like to do it on behalf of the Klinefelters Syndrome Association Looking at doing this next year and it would be great if colleagues & friends would join me in this awareness adventure. Our company appears to get behind other great charities like Movember, Cancer Research, local charities and I’m hoping that they will support me.
As we are approaching the holiday season I wanted to ask a favour from all of you who are reading this – one of the research papers I contributed to recently struck a chord with me in the final statement, can you do this for me:
Ask friends at the your next dinner party or some of the members of your family what Klinefelter Syndrome is and you are almost guaranteed either a nonexistent or incorrect answer. Ask yourself and ask others: is this response really acceptable?