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Testosterone Injection Update

Hey there, folks. Here’s the latest on my journey of becoming a real boy.

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I had my three month follow up appointment yesterday. They analyzed my blood test and everything seems to be on track. Testosterone going up, Estrodiol going down, aaaaand Cholesterol going up.

I was reminded by the doctor that if I want to freeze my eggs, I should do it soon. Which was a little awkward cause my new boyfriend decided to tag along with me to the doctor, haha! But it’s too expensive for me, and not nearly as important to me. I don’t care if they’re genetically mine or not, and that is something you, reader, will need to decide for yourself when that time comes.

The doctor discussed upping my dosage and changing my injections to be every two weeks instead of every week. This will create a greater hormonal change when I get my shot, creating a “peak” period and then drifting down over the next week. From what I gather, this is the way most people go at first UNLESS you have depression, anxiety, or other emotional reactions to the change in hormones or, in general, a history of such conditions. I don’t have those kinds of issues, so I’ve gone and switched to every two weeks.

My first injection at that dosage will be next Monday, and I’m expecting side effects again.

Between my last post and now, the side effects have been more pleasant.

  • I have to shave before work just about every day
  • My period didn’t come in June
  • I pass a little more frequently (This is in combination with a new binder that I’ll review at a later time)
  • More deep pimples, but nothing to run over to dermatology for yet!

 

I haven’t had any more cramps or bad dehydration. I’m always a little thirsty after the injection, but nothing like before, and it’s usually 80-90 degrees outside when I get it done.

Metabolism, I haven’t noticed being out of whack any more. It’s calmed down, but I’m still hungry. But I am by no means shedding pounds or packing them on. It’s just…there.

 

Some time after next Monday, I’ll have another FtM, trans update!

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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. :)

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Trans-How-To: Get the Ball Rolling

I’ve been absent for a while. The biggest update I have so far?

I got an appointment at Kaiser and went through the intake process at the psychiatry department. Now, I feel qualified to teach you how to do it.

Wait, WHY DO I NEED TO DO THIS?

You want your hormones, Trans-Fam? You get the doctor. You can DIY it, but it’s a better idea to be supervised. So if you’re going the doctor route and you have Kaiser, this is exactly how to get started. (If you have another medical company? Probably the same shit, different name)

 

For me, this was the scariest part. Not the impending surgery, the changes in my body, learning to put needles in me…

Making. A. Phone. Call.

It was scary because I had no idea what I was doing. Like. What do I say? How do I put it? So here’s what I did (because some people like step by step things. Like me. And I couldn’t find step by step things):

I called the appointment number. Just. Kaiser’s general appointment line number to make an appointment. I’d post that number, but it varies by region. If you’re a Kaiser Permanente member, you can find it easy on their website. It’s probably on the back of your medical card too.

Just press the button to talk to a person right away. Don’t fuck around, you’re wasting your time. It won’t let you make an appointment for the psychiatry department without talking to a human being. So get ready!

They’ll greet you and you tell them you want to make a psychiatry appointment. They’ll direct your call to that department.

That department will greet you and ask you some questions. You can open up with why or be shy and awkward, however you feel comfortable, but you need to get out the following (and do it better than me):

I’m calling to make an appointment for….
(I said gender things. THINGS. Not transitioning. People don’t be as lame as me. I can’t undo this.)

And they’ll ask you some very standard questions about your mental health and if you’re coming because it was court ordered or work related. Naturally, this is not the case, but they have to ask. So don’t get weirded out.

Then you get an appointment! Yay!

The first appointment is literally just an in-take. They’re going to get surface layer into things here, but it’s this person’s lovely job to rate your depression and anxiety and find you the best fit for a therapist that can guide you along the way.

They’ll probably ask how much you know about transitioning or if you’re starting from the ground up. That’s just to give them an idea. You can know nothing, it’s okay. They aren’t expecting you to know everything.

And then they’ll call you later when they have a therapist selected and you get to make an appointment with your actual therapist!

YOU DID IT!

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The First Post

I could mull over all day what to write here, but the fact of the matter is:

This first post is always the most awkward.

  • What does the reader expect?
  • Who I am?
  • What I will write about?
  • Do I write well enough to entertain the writers needs?

But the truth is, I have no straightforward way to answer those questions or provide you proof of an answer. What I can tell you is WHY I decided to create this blog.

This isn’t my first time, that’s for certain. When I was younger, I wanted the world to know my feelings and validate me- which was all a cry for attention that I felt I was deprived of (which still isn’t wrong, however it wasn’t the best way to cope with that feeling).

As I have grown and learned myself, I have stumbled upon something big.
Larger than life.
A monumental decision.
Something that had been a fleeting unattainable thought until now.
I’m not a lesbian.

Shocking, I know! Any one who knows me, knows I have this running gag of all lesbians like gay guys. It’s just a “lesbian thing”. Just as all straight guys like lesbians. I’m using the term all very loosely here.

What brought about this notion was my friend asking my partner,

“What does (Lost Boy) identify as?”

I didn’t give it much thought at first. I liked being boyish. But I liked being a girl sometimes too. I thought…I’m just boyish. Or…sometimes, I could like being a guy. Maybe I’m gender fluid? Which is a term I had to look up.

The more I pondered, the more I researched. The more I researched, the more I realized.

I was not comfortable with the term lesbian. But I had earned the label by being a female what is attracted to other females. I went through the hardships of acquiring that title. The pain of having to come out of the closet every time I moved schools. The agony of having to come out to my parents not once, but TWICE (I was received with complete denial the first attempt).

Now, the reason I’m starting the blog, before I get too carried away, is next.

I think I’m pretty sure I’m gonna go out on a limb and say —

I’m a boy.

To document my feelings, my relationships, and my journey as I discover this statement, which I hold to be self-evident, I have created this blog.

I don’t seek my feelings to be validated. My goal is not to gain attention (as I will be using Pet Names for all of my friends and family.

My ultimate goal is to be a guide and/or an example for those who are also just Lost Boys and Girls.

Peter Pan - Second Star to the Right