0

Testosterone and muscle cramps

This is the currently side effects I’m experiencing! I always try to do some research before sharing that my issues are T related…but my muscles are in so much pain lately from all the cramping, and it’s certainly not water related.

 

Source: Testosterone and muscle cramps

 

As far as any other side effects? My appetite has become more manageable, but I’m still more hungry than I used to be. I used to eat about 1000-1200 calories on my diet and be fine. After a few days of bad hunger pain at that range, it escalated to 18-2000 calories. I’m trying to get between 14-1800 calories now and for the most part? That feels right.

My libido is a little more calm now, though I certainly have my days.

And while I have been losing weight and dropped an inch off my waist and another off my hips and thighs and such…my neck went up and so did my upper arms.

It’s only been a month (well, a full month tomorrow), but these are the changes that I have noticed. Again, some things could be my fluctuating diet and poor food choices (STILL LOSING WEIGHT THO’) but…I’ll keep updating you all on anything I consider to be a cause of the Testosterone. Then I can make a more comprehensive list of side effects FTM’s can expect when starting T. Aside from the side effects…you know…we want.

Cause I’m ready for the eventual body hair and hair loss but I was HELLA not prepared for these CRAMPS, y’all.

1

What I’ve Noticed Since Starting T

Okay, I’m two injections in. Which means I’ve had, roughly, a week and a day of increased T in my body. So, there isn’t much that I can say I’ve noticed except for:

One, I got a little less dehydrated the second time…but I was still dehydrated.

And two, I AM SO HUNGRY YOU GUYS. I know sometimes around THAT time of the month, I get overwhelmingly hungry, but this doesn’t sync up. I am just consistently more and more hungry.

At first, I was so confused and getting really disheartened about my diet because I’ve been trying to lose weight. And for a while I plateaued, and then a trip to Disney set me free! I dipped down another pound!

…And then this insatiable hunger kicks in?! My diet! My weight loss! The agony! But also…the stomach pain! ARGH!!!

Then I realized I’m also turning into a teenage boy and my muscles need more protein and that’s probably why I’m starving all the time. And I google something like, “Does taking testosterone make you hungry FTM” and sure enough yes. It sure can make you hungry. Some people lost their appetite (jealous) but it would make more sense to gain an appetite.

So. I’m less traumatized about wanting to eat everything in my path. I also updated my FitBit to male since I will be burning calories more like a male as time progresses and injections are had. Hopefully that will translate into my recording calories as- I am burning more naturally, please for the love of the Earth let me eat.

 

0

First Injection

Til today, I haven’t had a shot on my butt since I was toddler.

Okay, it was the gluteus muscle right above my butt, but still. (hahaha butt jokes are never not funny)

More on that later now that you’re focused on my rear.
My referral pushed through from the therapist to Endocrinology. Endocrinology called me and said to get some lab work done, which meant a blood draw. It was already in the computer and all I had to do was walk in after a TWELVE HOUR FAST (this is in caps. Some of you know I’m a Hufflepuff, if you didn’t, you do now, FAST? ME?) and get poked with a needle. This is so the doctors have a baseline to refer to later- which I’ll explain further down.

Cool, done. Scheduled my appointment ASAP.

I already had my appointment with Endocrinology on Tuesday (April 11, 2017).
I wanted to wait until I had something substantial to update on.

My doctor, bless his heart, it was his first time working at a Kaiser clinic- since he’d from UCSD- and got into a minor car accident on his way to work of which I was his first appointment of the day. He was super sweet and really funny (and hella cute), and I wish he would just be a Kaiser employee, haha!

So my appointment went really well. Basically what happened is we went over some of the same questions I’ve talked out with my therapist before getting the referral to get an appointment with Endocrinology.

Examples of the questions I was asked were:
Have you started living as a man? (Doctor told me he usually recommends patients to do this for 6 months before starting testosterone).
Do you have support at home/family/friends/Trans support group?
What are your goals? (Rephrased as, what do you want and/or expect to happen while on testosterone?

I was also reminded constantly, and by two different doctors, to make sure I’m working out. Risk of cardiovascular diseases (among other things I believe were listed in my last post with all the paperwork) increase with use of testosterone. Especially if you have family history of such problems.

Also, another potential risk factor is- polycythemia– a fancy term for too much hemoglobin, hematocrit, or red blood cells.

After all of that, I was told about the options for taking T. I already knew I’d be fine taking the shots, so I didn’t have to inquire further here- but I do know if you have problems with needles? You can get a gel that you apply to your shoulders every day. It’s a bottle that lasts a while, so if you need a change in prescription, you still have some odd amount of T left.

So, for taking the injections, and for me and my healthcare plan, going to the Nurse’s Clinic is free and I get the injection every week. There are other options to take it every two, three, four, etc weeks. But the doctor said most people go with every week.

Is there a difference between going more frequently than not? That would have been a great question to ask. However, I suspect, the reason the once a week option is so popular is because who ISN’T ELATED AT THIS POINT TO HAVE HORMONES. Give them to me every day, shit. It’s going to be like Christmas once a week.

Now, in about three months, I’ll have to go in for another blood draw. They’ll compare that to my baseline blood draw I mentioned before, to make sure my testosterone level is going up, my red blood cells aren’t trying to sabotage me, and my cholesterol isn’t trying to kill me either. Among other factors.

Kaiser Permanente kinda leaves this up to you. I’m supposed to schedule an appointment roughly three months from now, but my window is 2-6 months to get the blood work done, and then go to my appointment after it’s been processed. At that appointment I also let them know what’s changed or if things aren’t changing, ect. Like if you’ve been off your period for a while after taking T…and it suddenly comes back? CALL THEM. Make that appointment. Your Testosterone levels need to be adjusted. Don’t wait for your three month check up appointment.

Eventually the appointments get further out as you adjust to your levels of T, eventually to just once a year.

Cool! So the doctors let me go and I just walk my butt right over to the Nurse’s Clinic and check in and wait to get my first injection THAT DAY!

The nurse was super nice and cheerful and the shot hurt alot less that some other gnarly ones I’ve had. She was very helpful and made a note which side she did the shot on so that the next time I go in, we’ll do it on the other side. She ALSO taught me that if I put my weight all on the side NOT getting the shot? It’ll hurt less/be easier. I’ll remember that just in case my next nurse doesn’t tell me. Also why I’m passing it along to you guys!

After I got the injection and a bandaid, I was on my way to school. The only side effect I noticed (and looked into) was I was very dehydrated. I was drinking water and my protein shake up until that point and was fine before. When I looked into it, not everyone felt dehydrated, but some did. Just something to be aware of.

 

Also, starting now I’ll be taking pictures of myself every week to do a timelapse of changes the T has on my face. These will be slightly skewed because I’m also losing weight at the same time. But I’m sure there will be a notable difference.

I will also do a voice recording or vlog or something to track my voice. I’m not sure what the best way will be to do that without my accidently trying to make my voice deeper. My only idea, which would be a lot of fun, is reading the first few lines of Harry Potter once every two weeks or month or something.

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Corrections? Insights? Always happy to have them. Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP. :)

3

Holy Progress Batman!

I have an UPDATE my little trans folks. Aren’t you terribly excited for this?
So here’s the summary of what’s happened so far- which will take me to today’s update without having to deal with a weird segue.

I decided to transition- called up my health care provider’s psychiatry number to schedule an appointment. Appointments were few and far between due to the lack of qualified therapists available to handle the number of transitioning patients.
I had to talk a lot about myself- this was to determine if I was MENTALLY in the right place to be making this decision for the right reasons, as well to see if I needed to be treated for depression and/or anxiety.
Lucky me, despite my relapsing self-hatred, I really am a poster boy of mental health. (?)

After I talked the therapists ear off about my crappy past (with a smile, which sort of unnerved her…and how well I’ve dealt with my past) and what I knew about transitioning from my own research she talked to her clinician supervisor. And together they talked about my answers. Then they filled me in on what I still needed to know as well as told me to go researching things.

Was still a weird segue.

But after that last appointment where I got to meet the clinician supervisor, she said she would be writing the referrals for me to get Testosterone (after talking to the ___ doctor) and TOP surgery.

I am sorry!! I won’t be discussing bottom surgery at any length, because it is not YET on my to-do list! Getting rid of the obvious femininity is more important to me than having a dick. For now. So if you came here for bottom surgery related things? I can’t help. ;~;

Continuing on.
I have yet to hear back from supervisor or the doctors whom the letters of referral will be sent to. So instead of talking about surgery or hormones, I want to share with you the documents I was given. These are focused on FtM not MtF, but I hope they will give you an idea of what to expect.

wp-1488449112706.jpg

THIS. Wonderful paper. Is my quick guide to what I will expect and when I will expect things to happen after I start taking hormones. In my case, testosterone. If you have Kaiser, they will have this for you. Also if you’re MtF? I’m sure they have a different, yet similar chart!

The slideshow below is another packet which goes more in depth about what to expect from taking these hormones. There is also a checklist of understanding. This will help you to decide if you’re ready to make that step!!

Mostly? It’s health concerns. You’re trading in your female health concerns for male ones (or vice versa). Also, your body composition is going to change.

If you are obese you CANNOT take testosterone!***

(***Aletrick left a comment for me stating that this isn’t the case with his Healthcare Provider! Please make sure you check with your doctor about the requirements. I can only speak for Kaiser Permanente’s rules for getting your prescription. Every doctor will have different requirements before you are allowed to take T. So don’t be afraid to ask questions!***)

Your fat will start to store mostly in your stomach/torso. If you are obese, and your weight moves, it can cause serious health concerns! And I’m worried about you, okay? So if this is your situation, please message me!! I was on the cusp of obesity, but luckily I have some AMAZING friends and motivation that got me moving around and losing weight. I would LOVE to help and encourage you and offer you advice as much as I can!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

If you have any questions for me, please message or comment or whatever you’re comfortable with. I’ll answer the best I can!

 

And a special thank you to the Hogwarts Running Club for being supportive and the cool Slytherin looking out for her friend that gave me the motivation to stop being a lazy HuffleButt and give you all a REAL update!

Next time? I hope to update you on testosterone and/or social issues!

0

1 Part Trans Update + 1 Part Life Update

Hi there folks, here is my fashionably late blog post.

It feels like forever ago when I wrote my last post about self-loathing. Unironically, I started to feel that way again today, which reminded me I need to update this!

First- Trans stuff. I had TWO appointments between my last post and this one. The last post being January 21st and today being February 13th? That’s some fast stuff!
It was a lot of questions. Emotional questions. Factual questions. A lot of family oriented stuff was asked.
Now, I didn’t think it was going to bother me that much, because I’m not easily triggered by anything. But having to talk about my dad and the verbal abuse and neglect that I thought was normal…Kinda left me feeling upset. So for those going into therapy and are reading this?

Be ready. To tackle. Your demons. Because they’re going to come up. And these answers to these questions? They get discussed between your therapist and their supervisor. You need to be honest and truthful. Because you have to be mentally prepared to progress.

My next appointment is the 21st this month. I’ll be having a meeting with the therapist and her supervisor. :) I’ll let you know how that goes.

 

 

And for anyone that cares about my actual life? I have probably 85% moved forward from my previous relationship. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m keeping myself busy. I am going back to college part time as well as still working full time.

And I got myself this cutie internet boyfriend~
We met through mutual friends and have been aware of each other’s existence for like…four or something years. Prior to the break up, we were talking a lot and becoming closer.
Thanks Persona Team for giving us conversation! Haha! (STILL CAN’T WAIT FOR PERSONA 5 YOU GUYS)

But yea. Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and it’s a little lonely that I’ll be at school and then visiting my cat at my ex’s house. No cuddles this year. :/

Long distance is hard. But…it can be worth it. :D

<3

 

~~HAPPY VALENTINE’S~~

6

Self-Loathing is my Curse

I don’t normally use the internet as a place to vent or rant. So this is your warning now to turn away and run as fast as you can, because it’s not a pretty sight past this text. This I can promise you.
Are you sure? Because I did warn you.
You’ll think differently of me if you didn’t already know this.
You asked for it.
Hi, I have self-loathing. You’ve probably seen my ego around- that’s my wonderful defense mechanism that tries to keep me safe from myself and from others. Ego says nice things about me. Ego accepts when nice things are said. But under that is really a torrential storm of self-hatred. I am my own worst bully and there is nothing a person can say to me that I haven’t told myself already. Or said worse.

Self-loathing doesn’t mean self-harm. I don’t hurt myself physically. I destroy my feelings and crush my inner voice. I put myself so far down and refuse help from those around me. Because I don’t deserve it. I think the kindness of others is pity or just fake.

I don’t say thank you when people compliment me. You’ll notice. I deflect. I ignore. I’ll even text thank you half heartedly (commonly this is often seen as, “gee thaaaankkkss”). I pass the compliment to someone I feel deserves it more. I push others away when I need them the most. I don’t want to text someone “Say nice things about me, so I can say thank you” because even though that is EXACTLY what I need to do…I don’t want to hear it either. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t deserve it.

So why am I choosing to expose the part of me I hate the most over facebook? For attention? For pity?
No, that is EXACTLY what I said I don’t want from you, fucking read it again.
My life is going through major changes. Everything about my life has been turned upside down. I have had some AMAZING friends be supportive and loving and caring and I hate myself for not being able to thank them properly all because I hate myself. I don’t feel I deserve the friendship and kindness I have been shown because I consider myself a terrible person.

I’m mean. I’m rude. I’m lazy. I’m unmotivated. I take the easy way out and run away from all my problems. I have trust issues when I meet new people- because I assume they will hate me and leave. Give up on me and leave. I’m afraid my current friends will give up on me and leave. Most of them have. And we’re ‘friends’ out of formality. I don’t expect those people to have read very far into this, if at all.

In any case, I absolutely hate who I am and what I’ve become. I am a 25, nearly 26 year old child who can’t cook or clean up after himself. I didn’t learn to drive until I was old enough to drink. I had no motivation to go to college until it was too late and I did miserably in high school. I have a college degree and a lot of debt in a field I got into because I thought it would be easy for me. And I was too prideful to stop myself from getting in too deep. The most consistent thing I’ve EVER had in my life was 8 years long. And that’s gone too. To me? I am pathetic. And I feel pathetic to write my sorrows to an internet post and hope some one cares to read. To expose myself to others and tell another person the shittiest parts of myself…isn’t brave. It’s sad.
I hate to tell any one, because for others…this is easy. My life could be worse. There is no contest when we start comparing. This is a battle that is easy for some people. But for me it’s a warzone. I have been told before by family not to be over dramatic on Facebook. And I shut down. No one wants to hear my problems. That why I put the disclaimer at the top.
I don’t know what I’m looking for here. Just to get it off my chest.
Normally, I’d write this and delete it. And keep it bottled up. But that’s part of what fucked me up in the first place.
And so there is no confusion. I don’t wish things were ‘easy’ or ‘different’. I wish I had the skills to pave a way for my future. A way to handle myself better. I wish for the motivation to change what I hate about myself instead of falling victim to sadness. And to myself.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I was going to say I’m okay and not to worry. But I am not okay. Still, you shouldn’t worry. Like I said, self-loathing isn’t the same as self-harm and I have no intentions of doing anything stupid.

I may hate myself more than any other person on the planet, but I know I can become greater than I expect.

And…if you have the same loathing problems? Remember to say thank you. Stop yourself and earnestly say thank you. Even if you have to compliment yourself and tell yourself thank you. All bullies are victims. So remember that when you bully yourself…that bully is a victim. And he/she just needs a hug and a few kind words.