My name is Terry WendyBella and I am 41 years old as of the year 2022. I’d been relatively celibate for a while, my last few years posing as a cross-dresser stunted by the knowledge that whatever sex appeal I could generate was really just false advertising. When I started my transition I became suddenly aware of the new sexual economy afforded to me: The world is full of hot straight guys who want to get fucked by chicks with dicks.
Topping isn’t really my thing, but I had a narrow window of opportunity to enjoy being a commodity fetish and wanted to make the most of it. Feeling sexy and desired just by being honest about myself was really gratifying, especially after hating my body for so many years. There weren’t a lot of dating options available to me at the time.
I have been living with a history of bilateral lower limb chronic venous insufficiency with recurrent venous stasis ulcers for almost all of my adult life. At the age of 20, I suffered an ulcer at the dorsum of my left foot which is limiting my function in walking. I was left with throbbing and aching on my left foot, needing daily dressing and pain killers on a daily basis. I was also left with silvery, paper-thin skin on my right ankle.
A few years later, I had a simple knock to the same area on my foot — and that became the ulcer that has been the bane of my life ever since. It was just a tiny cut on top of my left foot that refused to heal and for several weeks, I tried to carry on as normal (albeit with smelly exudate running into my shoe). After a few more weeks, I was sent to the hospital to have it dressed. I hadn’t even heard of leg ulcers and had no concept of the effect that such a small wound could have on a person’s life. The ulcer healed after 12 weeks which, at the time, seemed like a lifetime — what I would pay now for a 12-week healing time! However, I was left with an even worse throbbing venous pain in my left foot and very thin, and delicate skin on my right ankle.
I, unfortunately, suffered a second knock to the same ankle in the same place. The wound became infected and very quickly went from the size of a small dot to the size of a 50-cent coin and I received IV antibiotics in the hospital for several days. After that, I required daily dressing to my wound. Nevertheless, the ulcer did not heal. It closed over for a matter of weeks a few times, but never permanently. In all honesty, living with a chronic wound, you need a lot of comforts.
LOW SELF ESTEEM
Living with a chronic wound has affected my life in every single way. First and foremost, it has affected my confidence. People wear nice clothes or shoes to feel good about themselves — I cannot do that. I cannot wear shorts, cropped trousers, skirts, or dresses without my leg and my highly unattractive compression stockings being on the show. It makes me feel old and ugly.
To improve vein circulation in your legs and treat swelling, your nurse will apply a firm compression bandage over the affected leg. These bandages are designed to squeeze your legs and encourage blood to flow upwards towards your heart. There are many different types of bandages or elastic stockings used to treat venous leg ulcers, which may be made in 2, 3, or 4 different layers.
My foot and toes have actually changed shape because of the ulcer. I have spent so many years walking on the side of my foot that the ligaments have shortened and I find it hard to straighten my foot. This results in my left shoe being worn down more quickly and extra pressure being put on my left knee and hip.
I have spent many days walking in agony around theme parks, museums, parks, and shopping centers. The pain relief medication also has an effect on me. Thankfully, I am on a much lower dose now but I still take oral paracetamol and tramadol (Formula: C16H25NO2) four times a day. When my pain was at its worst, I could barely walk. I wasn’t sleeping very well at this time and I spent many a night lying awake in pain (especially after a painful dressing change). Sleep deprivation affects you in every single area of your life but mainly your concentration, emotions, and diet. I was taking way over the prescribed amount of painkillers just to try and take the edge off. I have tried all different ways of keeping the ulcer dry but nothing has ever worked.
I cannot cope with the pain of being on my feet all day as I am working as wait staff in a fast pace western restaurant. It would be much harder if I didn’t have health professionals looking out for me. My account of my ulcer is very emotional and I cry a lot: tears of frustration that the ulcer won’t heal, tears of self-pity when people are sympathetic and, most of all, tears of sadness for the things that have been taken away
from me. I know there are people much worse off than me and whenever I am feeling down, I always remind myself of that. I know I am lucky to have wonderful family and friends that love and care for me and of course, I am grateful that I haven’t got any awful diseases that are life-threatening.
I agreed to tell my story because it is less common to suffer from a chronic leg ulcer at my age. It is important to understand that people in their 20s and 30s need to be treated differently than elderly patients so that the impact these have on their lives can be minimized.