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. :)