Anniversary!!! 5/26/17

I am 1 year on Testosterone and I am eternally grateful for the experience and privilege to be able to transition with relative ease.

I went on 5/20 to a concert of my favorite artist at a local club. I consider that my celebration because not only did I get to see him, I got some merch and got a shirt and a hat signed and also a picture with him. Now, my actual anniversary was a mellow event. It was on a Friday so I worked from 8am-5pm and went home to lounge. I spent it with my loves; my girlfriend of four years and my dog. We ate junk food and watched movies once she was off work herself.

I mentally reflected where I am now to where I was a year ago and I smiled, because I may not be where I want to be or how I envisioned myself in a years time but I am happy where I am, as I stated it’s a privilege not many people can receive.

I started to go to therapy earlier in the month of May to just talk and relieve some pressure I’ve been feeling in my transition and how it affects me, my partner, my family, and my friends. I do feel slightly better knowing there is an outside perspective with an unbiased opinion on the situation.

I had an appointment with my T doctor June 10th just as a year check-in. I’ve had my levels checked twice in the last year once on a Saturday morning where my levels were over 1000 by a dozen or so points and once on a Tuesday where my levels were sitting on the lower end between the 500 range. 

After explaining my symptoms (lethargy, irratibilty, and mild abdominal cramping along with a few others) and body progress has been stagnant for six months now, my doctor agreed and FINALLY decided to finally raise my dose from 40mg to 60mg weekly. Me and my partner told her we would update her in the coming months on how raising my dose changes my mood or if in need to dial back.

All in all I would say I’m in a better place than I was last year. I hate that I have to wear a binder for another year but I’m well on my way to getting that taken care of as well. I’ve already met with my surgeon of choice and I’m still waiting for approval but it’s looking good. Hopefully by the time I have my 2 year anniversary next year.

For now I will continue to take life day by day and hopefully I’ll see changes in the coming months. Here is my final photo pre-hrt and my 1 year photo.

Update 3/26/17

I am now 10 months on T and I haven’t done an update since my 5 months so here I am. ^~^

Last time I reported no change in much of anything and I stand by it to a certain extent. I had an appointment to get my levels checked on 4/4 and will have to wait the 2 weeks to know if I’ll get an increase or not. Though I’m not counting on it to be honest.

I had an appointment in February with my hormone doctor and they decided to not increase my dose again. As of  late, I’ve been experiencing mood swings, angry outbursts along with bouts of lethargy, and coupled with depression has me feeling less than normal.

I had a milestone appointment March 21st for a consult for Top Surgery! I met with Dr. Marie Claire Buckley at the University of Minnesota and I was both parts excited and nervous. This will be my first major surgery unless something comes up between now and my set date (I don’t plan on that to happen). Dr. Buckley was an amazing and chill doctor. She came and after all the pleasantries and introductions we got down to business.

I will be having double incisions which I figured and even if I did qualify for another procedure I would still want that one. Because of my weight she figures my scars will have to stretch back under my armpits to avoid dog ears. She’s pretty far booked out so hopefully when I start weight training I can lose some fat and hopefully reduce the length of my scars

I’ve spoken with my insurance company twice, yes twice, to confirm that any transition related surgeries would be covered, which they are. For those wondering, I have BlueCross BlueShield through MinnesotaCare. I had recently received an amendum to their policy to note that not only do they cover gender confirmation surgery  they also changed it from sex reassignment surgery.

Since I haven’t updated I am posting all of my latest update photos. Top left: 6 months Top Left: 7 months Bottom right: 8 months Bottom left: 9 months

10 months

Thursday.

Thursday.

Boy, I got the juice, I got the juice

Boy, I got the juice, boy, I got the juice

I got the juice, boy, I got the juice

I said, I got the juice, I got the juice

Boy, I said, I got the juice, I got the juice….”

My alarm tells me it’s 8:45pm. 

Thursday’s. Every Thursday, FOREVER. It’s time to start my week.

The needles, the alcohol wipes, the syringe, the Testosterone, all sit immediately to my left on the sink ledge. 

My routine: sterilize the bottle top, sterilize my leg. Attach my drawback needle, drawback the air, insert the needle, push air in, draw the T out. Switch to my injection needle. Set the syringe down.

And sit. 

Is this right?

And sit.

Am I sure?

And sit.

Do I really wanna do this?

And sit.

Should I continue?

And sit.

Why am I doing this?

Is this what you want?

Are you sure?

ARE YOU?

Deep breath. And another. A quick glance. The syringe is there, glaringly obvious on the counter. Taunting. A constant reminder that I am dependent upon it forever. Forever. 

Deep breath. Rub my thigh. Another alcohol wipe to sterilize my leg. Check for veins. Grab the syringe, uncap. Stretch the skin and…..

Relief floods in as my doubt floods out.

I check my phone. 8:50pm.

My week starts every Thursday.

Imagine

 We’re  probably watching CSI:Miami or a marathon of Criminal Minds or Storage Wars cause they stopped running the Miami marathon a few weeks ago. You’ll complain cause you hated that they cancelled the marathon of your favorite show.

I’ll have just washed the dishes and am laying at the foot of your bed. No doctors appointments. No nurse to visit. Just us and the tv.

After the umpteenth rerun you’ll notice I’m nervous. You could always read me like a book.

Your raspy voice will call to me, breaking my inner musings. I say it’s nothing and head into the kitchen to make your lunch.  

You and Spanky will follow.  He was always acting like a weird little shadow.

We’ll settle into the living room now. Criminal Minds droning on and on and you’ll watch me from your recliner while I’m sprawled out on the couch. 

I’ll try to ignore it, going and cleaning the bathroom to occupy my time and calm my nerves.

After I’ve cleaned everything I can clean and as yet another rerun starts to play I’ll finally sit back down. 

A heavy sigh that leaves my lips will draw your attention from an awkward quip Spencer says and I’ll start to tear up because I’m always extremely emotional about these kinds of things. 

You’ll ask what’s the matter and reluctantly I’ll say what’s been my mind all day,

“I’m trans.” I’ll bow my head though I feel your eyes watching me. Calm to my emotional storm brewing. 

You’ll probably laugh cause I’m being silly. 

“I know.” Because I knew you knew. I would light up when someone would call me your grandson. Smile when someone would say ‘mistake’ me for a guy. You noticed. You always noticed.

I would just nod. Why would I expect anything less?

“You’re no different now than you were before. You’re still my grand-baby. I still love you.” 

You would have known before my mom, before my dad and brothers and sisters, and cousins and friends. Because yours and my girlfriend’s reaction would have mattered the most. HURT the most.

We’ll continue to watch our marathons like this never happened. Like nothing’s changed. 

Except something did. You’ll call me Lee and when I decide my name is Andrew you’ll call me that too. 

You’ll continue to support me and encourage me.

Imagining is all I have left. I miss you and I miss your guidance. I miss your support and definitely miss your love.

I wish I would have listened to your stories more. Just listened a little more. A little longer

Rest in paradise grandma, continue to watch over me and my family.

Sunrise: Nov 3, 1943 Sunset: Jan 6, 2015

Thanksgiving 2013

5 months on T 10/26/16

5 months on T 10/26/16

Not much has changed within the last month.

My chin hair is growing to the point of minimal visibility in certain selfies and there’s minimal upper lip hair. Me and my friends joke that it’s not 5 o’clock shadow but more like 12:45 o’clock shadow.

No downstairs growth had been detectable which I don’t really know how I feel about it. Dysphoria hasn’t hit me in the lower region like it does in my chest.

My doctor is waiting on my blood work to see whether or not to increase my dose. I feel like my dose is still on the low side seeing as I’m seeing few results but my doctor wants to be sure I won’t be over dosing and converting it back to estrogen.

My doc also looked at my chest issue and said she’d never seen that particular occurrence with any other patient. I will be making an appointment with a doctor once I fill out the paperwork at a new primary clinic.

Complete cessation of a monthly cycle is deemed fitting. I have not seen hide nor hair of the blasted visitor since Sept 1st to the 5th. My doctor also thought it was odd that I felt pressure on my pelvis around the time my cycle should have appeared. I haven’t felt it since but if it happens before I make a doctor’s visit I will bring it up to them as well.

I’m still slowly working my way around the gym. I started walking to work, just to increase my cardio, so instead of biking 2.2 miles to work I work those legs more by waking the 2.2 miles. I also(at least try to) walk a good :45 mins to an hour on the treadmill each time I’m near my gym(M,W,F). But I mostly walk the 2 miles to work and 2 miles back. 

An overwhelming sense of sadness has centered itself around me. I’ve been feeling not good enough. Like I’m not doing enough with my life. It’s affecting my writing capabilities and my willingness to want to really do anything. I push through because in my line of work I can’t afford to walk around with emotional baggage. 

I don’t know what to do to get myself out of this rut. Speaking with a mental health professional doesn’t really help me. I don’t like talking about my problems. 

Correction: I don’t know how to talk about my problems. I don’t know why I feel this way. So I don’t know what to talk about to fix it. I hate it. I hate it so much.

I guess that’s what I should work on next.

Until next time, here’s my photo updates.
5 months

Pre t

4 months 9/26/16

TW seperating by ~~~

I want to start with two weeks before my four months. I FINALLY came out to my client and his wife, coincidentally right before my voice dropped again.

We(my girlfriend came along as well) went out to Great Moon Buffet for dinner and had a pretty good time. The conversation flowed and food was good.

Me and my girlfriend debated throughtout the entire afternoon about me coming out but I didn’t want to at the restaurant. So when we returned to their house to retrieve her car we went in and told them.

They were very open and accepting and everything I wanted it to be. His wife understands more than my client, him having onset dementia, and she actually asked how far along I am and what other steps would I be taking, in regards to me having to miss work or anything. 

Not much physically has happened in the last month, my face filled out and my voice went an octave or two lower. I have an appointment in two weeks and will be asking to increase my dosage. My voice did drop from my 2 month mark to my 4 month mark so I’m happy to notice that. 

My biggest wish was facial hair and I’m seeing a bit more peaking out on my chin and my upper lip, but not much. I’m taking biotin and occasionally using minoxidil. It’s not everyday because I forget but when I remember I try to do it at least once a day.

~~~

I have not received a menstrual this month like my unexpected one in Sept.(I missed the entire month of Aug.) But I did have this weird sporadic pressure on my pelvis around the time it should have visited, it is definitely something to bring up to my doc at my appointment.

My left breast is still smaller than the right and there’s not much change to them. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s not another underlying problem. Something to bring up at my appointment as well

~~~

I’ve filled out all the paperwork to have my name change filed but I will be talking with an advocate at the clinic I frequent to make sure I filled them out properly and the right ones. I would hate to not fill it out properly or fill it out and it not be the right one, causing a delay in my process.

Working out is easy! Well not really; its hardwork and with my mental stress in my life I force myself to walk the few storefronts down to the gym  and get on the treadmill then do some upper body work. But actually getting on the treadmill and running is something that I couldn’t do for more than 5 minutes without getting completely tired. Now I can go a mile in less than 15 mins and do it multiple times a day. I’m not making much progress losing weight but I can see the definition of muscle in my shoulders and legs.

Something I haven’t really done in a few months is work on my writing. I have multiple pieces, including a full length novel that I haven’t looked at in months. Moving, along with starting Testosterone, and dealing with sporadic bouts of depression, writing has been the last thing on my mind. I still have a short story I’m working on but that too has taken a backseat in my mind. I want to restart my passion. I did shortly but it’s just a here and there and nothing to officially post, not yet at least. I hope to have something by the years end. Just to give myself some time.

All in all this last month I’ve had ups and downs, but I’m making the most of it

4 months on T

PreT 

3 months 8/26/16

3 months 8/26/16

TW separated by “~~~’s” can be skipped

3 months has come and gone. I haven’t felt or seen/noticed any significant changes in the last month besides my waist is slimming. I was fitting a size 40(the largest size I’ve ever worn) just four months ago. But just recently I noticed they were too large. It could also be because I ride my bike a lot more. I now can wear certain 38 jeans I haven’t worn in months and could even fit a size 36 Levis though it was extremely snug.

I also noticed I don’t cry easily. If hardly at all. For quite a long time I’ve been able to cry on cue if I wanted to but just these past few days a lot of mental strain fell upon me but I couldn’t get a good cry session going to alleviate it. And yes, I do use crying to alleviate stress. It keeps me from eating too much and I’d rather cry than gorge myself.

Energy levels are higher, I can run longer on the treadmill. A lot longer than I used to and with less rest in between. I used to run five minutes and be spent for another 10 but now I can run five minutes, walk five, run eight(personal best on 8/31/16). I’m slowly working to remove the need to walk  so long by restarting my run sooner and pushing to run longer.

I haven’t built much muscle but I do some light lifting to not overexert myself. Hopefully in the months to come I can build something up.

Another thing: I stink. Badly. If it’s not me sweating through my binder from biking to work. It’s me sweating just sitting in the heat. But working out is the worst! I make sure I have a change of clothes and extra deodorant, and body spray, because the sweat and all over body odor that starts to exude from my body reeks. Yuck. But I do work up a good sweat.

No facial hair. I’m a bit disappointed but it’s not unexpected. I’m looking to try a minodoxil treatment once my money is situated. A lot of Trans and NB folx on Facebook and Instagram have said it helps a lot, through its for your head it seems to work pretty well for their faces.

~~~~~
My libido is rising. Annoyingly rising. Not always where I want to have sex but where I need to alleviate myself because it will hurt while riding my bike. There isn’t much growth but it is a bit bigger than normal.

My boobs. Cue sad face. One of my boobs is smaller than the other. Significantly smaller. Like a full cup size smaller. It’s frustrating because now I’m self conscious that my left side is protruding out more than my right side. Granted I am left handed when doing physical activities so I figured the workforce would distribute unevenly. Hopefully going to the gym and spending an extra few minutes on my right side will help.

It does make me feel like complete shit though because I just want them to be as flat as possible in a binder and now my left puffs out more than my right. My depression sets in when I can’t wear certain shirts because I think they look bad. Or noticeable. Making my need for top surgery greater if this continues.

~~~~~

I’m still working on coming out to my job, client, and his wife. It seems harder and harder each time I meet someone new to remember to say my birthname and not Andrew.

I have met so many people under my birthname and I hate awkward situations, especially saying yeah it’s not …. anymore, it’s actually Andrew now. But it must happen sooner, rather than later.

3 months

Pre-T