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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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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.

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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!

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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!

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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~~

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The First Appointment

For those of you following the blog to figure out how to be trans and the hoops you need to jump through…Here’s the boring first day.

They walk you through what will happen over time. In my case, we skimmed over that surgery would be in the Los Angeles area, because they have the most experience (I live in San Diego county). We talked a little about the options of Testosterone and how much they would cost with my insurance. We scheduled my next appointment, which is due to be 90 minutes long, full of a lot of questions I need to answer. We talked a lot about me, my past, how I decided this was right for me…kind of a getting to know you day.

Because remember if you don’t like your therapist…GET ANOTHER ONE. No matter WHAT you are seeing a professional for! If you don’t like them ASK FOR LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE.

I like my therapist- she’s recently trained to work with the transgendered clients, and I’m one of her first patients. So, I will be learning as she learns as well. I’m okay with this- others might want someone more experienced. I think it’ll be fun for us both to learn and ask questions.

Next appointment is January 30th! So you’ll probably here from me around then. :D

(Mind you, my appointments are REALLY few and far between because..there’s…like three therapists at my Kaiser who are qualified to work with Transgender. It’s hard on them too, until they train more people.)

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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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