My Transition Diary


August 18
1:02 pm - Home at last from my vacation in San Francisco. Actually, I got home yesterday, but didn't get to post. I'm leaving for the endo's in two hours.

2:23 pm - At 02:45 I'm going to get ready to go. [gulp]

2:43 pm - Here I go ... gonna leave in about 15 minutes. [double gulp] :D

August 19
10:54 am - As of 08.00 last night, I am on testosterone! :-) The examination was much less traumatic than I expected - actually, it wasn't traumatic at all and not invasive at all. Yay. I'm currently on 1.25mg per day, and will ramp up to 2.5mg per day in time. I wear a patch for 12 hours a day and then go 12 hours without. When my dose is increased, I'll wear a patch for 24 hours and then exchange it for a new one.

I currently look and feel exactly the same. No surprise there given the size of the dose. No worries. I'm psyched! :D

5:27 pm - I want another patch. LOL I took it off when I got up this morning, it had been 13 hours. I'm not going to wear one tonight. I'm waiting till morning. I want to wear them during the day, be aware of it. I think that'll help. When I'm asleep, I won't care that I don't have a patch on.

August 21
2:33 pm - Okay ... I'm not sure if the T is starting to increase my sex drive (only slightly), or if I'm a little more preoccupied with sex because I'm expecting the T to increase my sex drive.


7:04 pm - Is my voice deeper yet?

August 22
T T T T T. [bounce]

I'm drinking orange juice. I was in a really crappy mood earlier, and vitamin C improves your mood, so I'm having orange juice. I feel a little better, knock wood. I think it's so cool that drinking some orange juice every day can help you not be a crabby yenta. :D

It's really easy to blame the T for every time I get mildly pissed off or think about sex, but the fact remains that I'm probably not going to feel anything for at least another week, and probably won't notice any physical changes for another month. And then it'll just be the odd hair sprouting (not on my face, not for a good while yet). I just want to believe that something's happening.

The night before last, I left the patch on for like 15 hours instead of 12 ... I'm pretty much just putting it on when I get up and taking it off before I shower and go to bed. When I took it off, there was this really nice red spot where it had been - not where the ring of adhiesive was, but inside the ring, where the little thing of T was. You could tell that it had been feeding something in through the skin ... it was really satisfying to look at. It was completely gone when I woke up yesterday though. And last night it was only on for like 11 hours because I got up early and got tired early, even though I did no physical work except typing. So when I took the patch off last night there was no mark. :( There better be one tonight.

August 23
11:41 am - Patch #5, on my thigh. Feels weird to have it on my thigh, especially because I shaved the area before I put the patch on - it reduces the pain when you take the patch off by a lot. But tomorrow and Thursday it'll also be on a thigh, and then on Friday it'll have been a week so I can use my arms again.

7:54 pm - My therapist, Diane, says that I may not feel anything until I up my dose. So I emailed Dr. Spack and asked if I can start wearing the patch 24 hours. This 12-hour stuff is really just to see how my body reacts, and to acclimate it a little. But I'm impatient and I told him so. Here's hoping I hear back soon.

August 24
9:24 am - Good morning. Patch #6, and ...

"You may proceed to 24 hours now." --Dr. Spack.

I'm in the best mood in the world now, even though I may get estrogen poisoning at any moment - it's significantly late. (If you ask me if I might be pregnant, I'll email you a virus.) My therapist said that odds are, once I start the 24-hour dose, the poison should go away within 1-3 months. So by Thanksgiving, I'm hoping. The thought of only having to deal with a few more of these gives me a better rush than any narcotic. Not that I've ever used narcotics, but isn't the whole draw supposed to be that they make you feel good?

Anyway ... YAY!!!

9:15 pm - My estrogen poisoning has arrived. :P When I found it, I looked at my patch and went, "Do something!" But nothing happened.

Grr. Here's hoping I don't have to deal with more than three of these from here on out.

August 25
I just found out that even though the T patch label says both "12.2 mg testosterone" and "2.5 mg," my dose is 2.5 mg per day. Half the dose for an adult male, that's what Dr. Spack says. He says I might have to go 2-3 months on 5 mg per day to get rid of the poisoning. God help me. I can't deal with much more of these. Every time it gets harder.
August 26
Patch number 8, I think. Still not feeling anything. Say a little prayer.

I've taken to rubbing my patch ... not really for luck, just as a security-blanket type of thing. It makes me feel better.

August 28
Patch number 10. Still nothing. Dr. Spack says that I can double my dose after another two weeks, depending on how I'm feeling.
September 04
Last night, I found some skin irritation on the spot where my patch had been the night before. But that was the one I wore in the shower ... Dr. Spack told me it was waterproof, which I took to mean I could wear it in the shower as long as it didn't get drenched. But it came partway unstuck anyway, and although it seemed to restick as the day went on, some water probably got underneath. So I'm hoping that's what gave me this itchy red mark, like a tiny rash. It hasn't spread or anything, and I haven't had any other skin irritation from the patches (knock wood) so I'll let it go unless something else shows up.
September 05
8:34 am - Patch #18. Still nothing.

I feel obligated to keep writing this even if it seems obvious, because someday it won't be "still nothing," and I want an accurate record of how long it took, etc., etc.

7:10 pm - Dr. Spack gave me his okay to go to two patches! Diane says I should see changes pretty soon once I do that. I'll do it on Friday. :D

The rash-like irritation is starting to subside, knock wood. But there's another one, though less severe-looking, appearing on my other arm where the patch was yesterday. It's not sore, but it itches. Same as the other one. If they get any worse I'll talk to Dr. Spack about it. Diane looked at it and said it didn't look too bad, just keep putting on the cream that Dr. Spack gave me and don't put a patch on it till it's totally gone. Good advice.

September 08
7:35 am - Patch #21. Still nothing. This is it, three weeks. Tonight when I replace my patch I'll put a second one on.

5:33 pm - Tonight's the big Dose Night. [gulp] I'm scared that I'm gonna wake up and have turned into the Incredible Hulk or something. But obviously that's not true, and I can lower my dose any time I want to, which I fully intend to do once this gets kick-started.

5:51 pm - Arrrgh ... my patches make me itch ... the cream helps but it's pretty temporary.

September 09
3:59 pm - I went to get my T prescription refilled, since I'm almost out and am now using 2 patches per day, but the frigging insurance won't cover a refill until the 18th. By using two patches a day, I'm going to run out in another three days. What am I supposed to do? I E-mailed Dr. Spack asking if I can get a new prescription for 60 instead of 30 before our appointment (I'm not seeing him till November 3, he's booked solid), but it's the weekend and I probably won't hear from him till Monday. I only have enough T to carry me through Tuesday. God damn it. My body better not freak out.

6:16 pm - Great. So I'm back on one patch a day for another week so they'll last me until the 18th, when insurance will actually cover a bloody refill. I've got to get a new script for 60 patches instead of 30. Bloody hell.

September 11
Dr. Spack sent me an email. He's going to snail-mail me a new script. Yay!
September 12
9:44 am - Arrrgh ... this patch ITCHES! I was futzing with it, trying to get rid of the itch without actually scratching because scratching a piece of plastic doesn't work, and it came unstuck. :/ So I stuck it back on ... I hope it stays. But it ITCHES!!! [fidget] What can you do when the itch is under the patch?

7:15 pm - Okay, I don't know if this is from the T or if it's my imagination, see what you make of it ...

My sex drive really hasn't increased. I've thought about it a lot, trying to monitor if I'm thinking about sex more or anything, and I'm really just not. But I think I'm getting more sensitive ... below the equator. (Don't worry, that's as graphic as I'm getting.) It's not a sexual feeling, it's like if part of my arm became more sensitive. But it's definitely more sensitive than before, and the only thing I can compare it to is when I went through puberty in middle school, except then I had all these erotic thoughts that would pop up whenever I felt it, and this time there's none of that.

8:34 pm - Oh yeah ... I've been meaning to write this for days ... the spots that my patches leave, once a couple of days go by, look like great big hickeys. Kind of. It's a little scary. (For the first couple of days they're just pink like huge mosquito bites. And they're a little topographical for 24 hours or so, then they flatten out.)

And they ITCH! Well, the ones on my legs that look like great big hickeys don't itch much anymore, knock wood. But I wish all this bruised-like coloring would go away. I shouldn't put more patches on those areas until they clear up and they're not going fast enough for me. Damn it.

September 13
7:19 am - I put my patch on my leg last night, and so far it's not bothering me. Knock wood. My right arm is sore like it's sunburned, but I know that's from scratching it so damn much. It felt so good to take my patch off last night and scratch for like 5 minutes. :-) I'm not putting patches on that arm at all until it completely clears up.

I have enough patches to last me through Saturday, and can't get the script refilled till Monday ... here's hoping my new script comes in the mail before then!

8:54 pm - I ITCH!!! I didn't feel anything this morning, but it was getting steadily worse this afternoon and now it itches like all hell under the patch. Good job I can take it off soon, when I get offline and go shower.

My new prescription came! I'll get it filled on Friday since I have enough patches to last me through Saturday (Friday night, really, since I change patches before going to bed).

September 14
5:27 pm - I got my script filled. The T came in a box! :D I have a box of testosterone. The pharmacist seemed very much under the impression that the script wasn't for me; she asked if I knew "this person's birthdate," and when I had to sign for it, she told me to sign "your own name." I signed my name and she didn't look at it ... I wish she had, so she'd see that it was the same name that was on the script, and maybe give her a reality check. I have no idea what was behind that assumption, and don't know whether it was complimentary (i.e., "This is obviously a male who doesn't need testosterone") or insulting (i.e., "This is obviously a butch dyke or a child or someone who wouldn't want testosterone"). [shrug]

6:26 pm - I have two patches left on the old dose, so I have to either double my dose tonight or Saturday night. I think I'll do it tonight.

September 17
Day 30! Can you believe it?

I think my veins are getting weird. Occasionally I'll look at them on my arms and hands and they're way more visible than usual, sticking out a little more, etc. It's kind of gross. But anyway, I'll look back a few minutes later, and they're gone again. That's gotta be the T. It is supposed to do that, right?

I have more acne than usual these last few days, but I think it's too early for the T to be doing that. But it's not the right time for it to be the poisoning ... it hasn't even been three weeks since the last one. Sometimes the T makes things get weird and jump around a bit though ... this really better not be the poisoning. That's all I need.

September 20
Day 33. Sex drive is up slightly ... just enough to notice, not enough to dominate my thoughts. Yet. I'm going to try to go through 30 days (it's been 6) on the full dose before I drop back down, because I'm already getting the feeling that this is going to be WAY too fast, but I want to give it a chance before I run the other way.
September 21
The dermatologist (great guy, has had trans patients before) says my skin already looks different. :D I told him about my dosage and everything, and he said he may have to put me on an oral antibiotic for the acne eventually. Something bugs me about taking a pill for acne, but it sure would be more convenient than the two kinds of topical medicine I'm using now. And whatever he thinks would be best. He spotted something on my nose that he says women don't get ... I forget what he called it. Some random bumps or something, one on each side of my nose. [shrug] It made my day anyway. :D
September 22
My skin is definitely oilier, and I have a tiny bit of acne on my arms, near my shoulders. Weird.
September 26
Day 39. Is my nose getting narrower or am I just on crack? It feels like it's more proportional to my face. (I always thought my nose was kind of big.)
October 2
My cold's almost gone ... and so is the poison, after 10 days or so. Hopefully it'll never come back. Oh wow, that would be incredible.

Of course, when I drop my dose back down, it might come back ... if it does that, we just up the dose a little at a time until it goes away again. Otherwise it's just too much hormones in my system, and my body would freak out. There has to be enough to to override the oestrogen. I have absolutely no problem with that.

04 October
Is this voice just remnants of my cold? It seems too soon for it to be the T; it hasn't even been 3 weeks on this dose (5mg per day).
October 5
8:42 am - Day 48. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks. Wow.

Voice is still deeper. It sounds like it's from a cold, but that's really typical when going through puberty, so I still don't know anything.

5:09 pm - I'm so happy with my voice! I am still coughing, though, so we'll see how it goes over the next several days. Hopefully the cough will leave and the voice will stay.

October 6
Day 49. It's been 7 weeks! Last night at Compass, the guys said that three weeks on 5mg per day isn't too early for my voice to start going. Get my hopes up, why don't you.
October 7
Day Fifty of hormone treatment! Can you believe it? (Day 23, I think, of this dose.) My, how time does fly. I feel old.

Cough is breaking up a tiny bit, and my voice isn't quite as deep as it was yesterday. Blimey. Y'all HAD to get my hopes up, didn't you?

October 8
Day 51. Cough is pretty much gone, and voice is pretty much back to normal. Oh well.
October 10
Acne's flaring a little bit.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur so I fasted. For dinner last night, I had a little turkey, baby carrots and broccoli (my mother made that), half a box of Kraft mac & cheese, which according to the box is actually 1.5 servings, a glass of chocolate milk, the remains of a Snapple iced tea I was drinking on Sunday, and three (I think) Chocolate Rounds, which are Little Debbie cookie-fudge sandwiches. See what happens when you try to starve a growing boy?

October 11
My voice is a little deeper today. Diane said (I had forgotten this) that it'll fluctuate up and down for a long time before starting to settle, regardless of how much or little it cracks. There'll be high days and low days. (That's a big help ... my voice does that anyway.) But anyway, this is a lower day. Yay.
October 14
11:23 am - My voice is starting to go. I sound like I have a cold. I think within the next month I'm going to drop my dose back down to one patch a day instead of two. It's kind of like a roller coaster ... right now we're on the way up, and we're approaching the top, but when it starts to feel like we're going downhill, there's that I-don't-have-control-of-my-situation feeling that's scary, and that's when I'll drop my dose. Right now I'm slightly nervous. But when I get scared, the dose goes down. Otherwise the T is controlling me, not the other way around, and that's not cool or healthy.

4:59 pm - I worry about being invisible. (Of course, now that I've lost my chance, I think of a question to ask Les Feinberg. Maybe I'll email hir.) Like, Les uses gender-neutral pronouns, or else uses "she" in non-Trans spaces and "he" in Trans spaces. (The rationale is that using "he" in Trans spaces honors hir gender expression, but using "he" in non-Trans spaces renders hir transgenderism invisble.) So s/he has that to help stay visible as Trans. But I'm not a gender-neutral-pronoun person, and I don't want to use "she" at all ... that's not me. I'm a he. But how do I be a he and stay visibly Trans? I pass even without hormones, and as the months and years go by and my voice drops and my face ages, I'll pass all the more. How do I be true to my identity in that way?

I think some of it is wanting to have my cake and eat it too, and I'm not going to be able to have it both ways. Passing is a fact of life for me, and it's not anything that I have a problem with ... I want to be seen as a guy. But I don't want it assumed that I'm a bioguy, because I'm not and I don't want to be a bioguy. I want to live my life as a butch transguy, not a generic guy (and thus, by default, a bioguy). But ... but ... argh. How can I express all these sides of myself, and be out in a way that's safe but is still true to myself and honouring my sense of self, etc., etc.? It's all so complicated. [sigh]

5:06 pm - Oh yeah ... I refilled my T prescription, but they gave me 30 patches instead of 60. They ran out or something, they said they ordered more and they'll be in on Monday. So I have to go in Tuesday and get the rest. They better not try to charge me again. I have 15 days' worth, though, so for right now all is well.

October 22
Hey, today's Day 65 of my hormones! I just realized that. That makes it Day 38 (I think) of this dose. My voice is on the deep side (still like I have a cold), and the hair on my forearms is darker ... you can't really see it unless the light is right, but I'm convinced that it's not just my imagination.
October 24
Okay, my appetite is definitely on its way up. The Beast must be fed!
November 3
Today's Day 77, which makes it Day 50 of this dose. Oh geez. I go to see Dr. Spack this afternoon, for the first time since our initial meeting where he gave me my script.
November 4
The visit to Dr. Spack was easy, he said I looked great, and no invasive examinations this time either.
November 7

I just realized that I never posted about this ... October came and went without any sign of "estrogen poisoning," as I call it ... also known as "the FTM's bloody hell." Hehe. But anyway, it's GONE! [does a little dance; then thinks better of it and does a big flaming dance]

It better not come back when I lower my dose, whenever that happens (not soon, but eventually). I'll hit something if it does.

I'm up way too late. I asked Diane about body clock stuff, and she said she doubted that my body clock was screwed up or that it was insomnia ... she said that T just gives you more energy in general and it could be me adjusting to that. Reckon we'll see. Whatever it is, I hope it goes away soon. It's annoying.

November 16
I think my face is getting squarer. There are little ... corners, for lack of a better word ... at the curve of my jaw. Jaw's getting more defined, thus the face is squaring off. I think I look a bit better for it.

Unfortunately, my ears still stick out.

December 2
I wonder what I'm going to do about my patches at the True Spirit conference. Kael said that when we were at his house in October, he saw my patches in the trash and was tempted to steal them and try to use them. LOL I'm not really worried that any of the guys will do that, but it wouldn't be nice to leave them lying around visible, even if they were in the trash. Just a reminder, you know? It would probably bug them to see the patches there. So I'm gonna have to either put them at the bottom of the trash, or put them all in a little baggie and stash them in my bag until I get home. Hehehe.

I've been thinking this for the longest time and never posted it ... but here 'tis. I often say that I love being transgendered or I'm proud to be transgendered, but it goes beyond that ... it wasn't till after the weekend with the guys (and Becky and Natasha!) that it really came to me how I feel. I'm honored to be transgendered. I think that's a better word to describe it than "proud" or "happy" or whatever. I'm truly honored to be a part of something so special, and to have such an incredible, unique experience.

December 3
I think I'm getting stockier. Very, very slightly. It could be my imagination, but I look ... sturdier, somehow, than I did over the summer. I hope it's real and not just my imagination. I need someone to take measurements for me; Beth says you can't really measure yourself. (Makes sense.) I want to take measurements every month, if I can.
December 6
Okay ... I'm cold, but my upper right arm is sweating. Every once in a while it drips. Ewww. This T is some weird shit, yo.
December 8
Oh my God ... I just looked at myself in the mirror, really looked ... and took off my glasses ... and ... oh my God, I look so different. My face ... it looks like I've gained a little weight, which the scale reflects (four or five pounds since I started T, and I never gain weight, I've tried), and ... I guess it's just squarer or something. But I look different. It's still me, but ... older too, I think that's part of it. I look older. My face is aging. I look more like 16 instead of 14.

Maybe some of it's the haircut too. But some of it is definitely the T. Several people commented last night at Compass that I look a lot different. I sound considerably different than just a month ago, but I didn't realise my face had changed so much.

This is so freaky ... but it's still a good thing. It's still a good thing.

07.27 pm - I am! I'm aging! Like at the end of the movie Forever Young, only not quite so dramatic (the main character physically ages 50 years in 5 minutes), but I really look older. My Adam's apple is showing more than it did a few months ago (I hope it doesn't get huge, that's gross), and I think my neck is thicker (someone measure me!), and ... I just look older. Even without my glasses. (My glasses kind of give me an intellectual look, I think, that makes me look older. One person told me they make me look collegiate. Hehe)

Freaky, freaky, freaky ... I feel like I'm in a sci-fi movie.

Singing higher notes is becoming even harder ... I can still sing on-key because I sing so much, but so much of it is having to be lowered an octave ... I feel like I've gone from tenor to baritone overnight. It's more annoying than anything else. I don't want to lose those high notes. I can do it, I know, it'll just be a lot of work. My voice sounds so strained on those notes, and they used to be so easy ... and it cracks a lot up there too. (Not that it's not cracking the rest of the time, it's just way less noticeable. People keep saying, "Your voice is cracking," and I'm like, "Really?")

But I can hit all these amazingly low (for me) notes now, which is awesome. (Example ... I used to sing along with Indigo Girls and do Amy's part, on the same octave as her ... a month or two ago, I switched to doing Emily's part an octave lower ... now I can do Amy's part an octave lower, although I still miss the occasional low note. That is fun though, especially when Amy is harmony. I'm getting good at doing harmony on a couple of songs.)

But still ... this is all so bizarre ... oy.

December 12
My hands are less cold than they used to be. Used to be they were always really cold. I wonder if that's the T ... hmm. I don't feel warmer overall. But I guess it's so gradual that I won't really notice it until this time next year or something.
December 16
I'm going to drop my T dose soon. It's starting to scare me. What's happened so far has been great (for the most part), but I don't want to continue at this pace. I'm seeing Dr. Spack on January 22, a Monday. I'll tell him then that I want to go back to one patch, 2.5mg per day. As long as it's enough to counteract the estrogen, it's still safe hormonally ... and that's what I want, just enough to counteract the estrogen (and thus keep the poisoning away). We've more than kick-started it. And it's starting to feel like too much, too fast.

[deep breath] But anyway, yeah. I think I'll be okay like this for another month until I see Dr. Spack, but beyond that ... it's starting to be a bad thing. So we'll drop the dose.

I hope the poisoning doesn't come back (if it does we'll have to play with the dose until we find the right amount to counteract the estrogen, which will probably mean lots of mood swings and stuff). I really don't want to deal with that ever again. That was the main thing about starting T in the first place, was getting that to go away. But hopefully I'm small enough that I won't require as much T to do the job.

To elaborate a bit on the dose-dropping, this is from a conversation I had tonight with Cole. (It sounds a little choppy because I took out some stuff.)

I'm definitely dropping my dose soon. It's kind of starting to scare me. It's too fast. Like, I like (overall) what's happened so far, but I don't want to keep going at this pace ... and in some ways, if I could have a hysterectomy so the poisoning wouldn't come back, I think I'd stop T altogether. If I could keep my body like it is now, exactly like it is now. And just have top surgery and a hysto, but not ... [fidget] ... I don't wanna be a bioguy. I don't want to be taken as a bioguy. I don't want to pass 100% all the time. I'm Trans. So far it's been good, but it's starting to get bad ... and the longer I stay on this dose, the worse it'll get. But I'm not stopping, not if the poison's gonna come back. I'll just go on the lowest dose I can. ... We're "too good to be bio." We're way too good. I won't settle. Bioguy is second-best. I'm a transguy and I want the world to see it. But I also want to be comfortable in my own body. ... I guess I just want to have my cake and eat it too.


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