HRT, surgery recovery and general updates

I may as well start off with the boring stuff — I’m still recovering from the shift in thyroid hormone, the scar still hurts sometimes and all of the sudden I may be experiencing sexual and romantic attraction where I wasn’t before. Yadda yadda yadda.

BUT THERE ARE FAR MORE PRESSING MATTERS AT HAND.

THAT’S RIGHT FOLKS! I HAVE /FINALLY/ STARTED HRT!

This last month has just been hell waiting for my endo to see me and it was one problem after another. March 18th, my Lilbro’s birthday, I went in to see my Endo and she really dropped the ball. I had my letter all filled out and signed, and I’d found her almost a year ago through a network that lists those that do HRT for trans* people through my insurance, but…she suddenly changed her mind, patted my head, handed my letter back, and told me to come back in 3 months for a thyroid checkup.

No.

Sorry, but no.

A week later I was in another Endocrinologist’s office, and I was shaking like crazy. I went in, handed her my letter, explained the situation and how many years I’d been in therapy (we calculated I’ve been seeing actual gender therapists for like…too many years) and she said all she needed to help me start was a set of lab results. So she drew some blood, I went back in a week later, and I got approval!

Unfortunately it would seem it’s been a while since she prescribed the Androderm patch for anyone as the one I took the prescription into my pharmacy for was discontinued about 2 years ago. So instead of being JUST healthy enough to be approved for the standard 5 mg patch (rather than the 2.5 mg patch those with health concerns are started off on) I, a week yet after that, was finally able to walk out of the pharmacy with my patches.

Today I am on Day 2 of being officially transsexual and on HRT. I’m wearing my third patch, as you change them out nightly at 10 PM (switching up what part of the body you stick it to) and I could not be happier!

 

 

Tuesday, April 8th 2014: 12:30 PM

My “T Birthday”

Diaries are girly as all get-out, but Honey Badger don’t give a fuck. I finally got a call from the pharmacy saying my prescription was ready. To which I immediately rushed down the street and grabbed it quick as I could. I got home, ripped the box open, washed off my upper arm (even though I was gonna leave my upper left arm for Sundays, I’m switching things up) dried it off super well and then stuck a patch on. It feels sorta weird and sorta not at the same time — obviously I only just put my first patch on about a half an hour ago so there aren’t going to be any visible changes…but I’d say I can feel my skin responding to something. Sort of a very light tingle. Doesn’t hurt or tickle — it’s just…’there.’

 

Tuesday, April 8th 2014: 8:45 PM

Patch #1

I put on my first patch earlier, I’ve had it on for over 8 hours now. No itching, no burning, only a few little aches and pains here and there out of the ordinary. It feels like a mix between warmth and numbness as it spreads throughout my body — the patch I have on now appears to be almost empty in its’ little chamber, and I put on a new one at 10 PM — the time I’ll put a new one on every day from here on out. The patch is virtually unnoticeable when I’m not worried about it coming off — it should stay on fine if I put it in the right place. The area on my arm I have it on now (upper left arm) is very fatty so I thought it best to start here — but it’s an area of my arm that bends and twists throughout the day, so the patch keeps trying to curl up at one side. I tried to stick it down with medical tape which worked okay — but now where the tape isn’t pressing down is creating a crease and I want to make sure I maintain as close to 100% surface contact as possible. There is a light bruise forming just under the skin where my first patch is — but that may well be from my having been pressing down on and touching the patch throughout the last 8 hours. When I put on my next patch in an hour an 15 minutes, I’ll be sure to switch arms (to my upper right) in order to make sure I don’t put too much stress on this arm for one day.

 

Tuesday, April 8th 2014: 10:05 PM

Patch #2

I just switched patches for the first time! The first patch wasn’t quite as empty as I was expecting it to be, but I could see the difference in gel levels when I pulled out the fresh one. I’ll be curious to see how much I draw from each patch day-to-day. There was no skin irritation whatsoever underneath my initial patch’s placement — the only redness came from under the medical tape I had keeping the side that tried to come off down. The feelings of warmth and tingliness/numbness I felt were not constant, I’m realizing, but circulated throughout my body in waves. Right now I feel only the slight effects of the second patch even though I only just put it on 10 minutes ago — but in another 20 minutes the first wave will probably hit. It’ll be nice to know what to expect throughout the day — though the first patch I only kept on for 10 hours. Tonight and tomorrow will be my first real test-drive of what a day with the patch on will feel like. I’m excited!

 

Wednesday, April 9th 2014: 3:15 AM

Morning-After

Today has been especially awkward so far between having very little food, a whole bunch of energy, a surprising amount of drive, and a healthy appetite. Awkward because a bunch of energy and drive get you nowhere when you have no stamina and your body hurts just from standing for more than 10 seconds — and because normally I’d have a bunch of food at my disposal, but we were supposed to do a shopping today and Nana ended up not having the energy to drive. Yet even despite all this, I find myself incapable of getting angry, upset, or depressed. More than that, it isn’t that I’ve stopped experiencing emotions — but that I can’t seem to get around this feeling of elation and joy and happiness and it’s starting to weird my friends out! Whenever I start to get upset or angry, it’s just a moment or two before the feeling fades completely and is replaced with this weird sort of bubbly joy. Like for once no matter what happens I’m just happy to be alive.

 

Wednesday, April 9th 2014: 2:20 PM

Just Woke Up

Had an okay sleep, wasn’t a very long one — longer than last night. Still have these weird feelings of elation, starvation, and massive amounts of energy I don’t have the body to support yet. The patch seems to have stayed on well on my upper right arm overnight — I moved the position forward just a tad from where I put the other one on my other arm. No outward changes due to the testosterone of course, those things take time, but my throat feels sort of funny — thicker, and fuller — and my face feels sort of tingly. I’ve now had this patch on for about 14.5 hours and I put on a new one in 7.5. It clearly still has some gel in its’ chamber, perhaps putting it on before bed slows how quickly I draw what’s in it out. I can feel it starting to release another wave of hormones — my arm is starting to get warm and slightly tingly/ever so slightly numb again. I took my Synthroid over 30 minutes ago, so I’d say it’s time to finish off that yummy pasta I made last night.

 

Wednesday, April 9th 2014: 10:00 PM

Patch #3

This last patch didn’t even start to try to come off until 1.5-2 hours before I was ready to change it out, which is nice considering the last spot was a tad come-offie even 5+ hours before it was time to switch. Only a slight pinkish shade to the skin underneath, disappeared within minutes (having a patch on for 24 hours might do that to you) so no sign of skin irritation yet. Tonight’s patch I’m putting on my upper left thigh — which means tomorrow I’ll do my right thigh, and Friday I’ll give my stomach a try. I have noticed that sitting crosslegged causes significant folds in the patch and may have to adjust the placement of my patch in the future — or not sit crosslegged on Thursdays.

 

Wednesday, April 9th 2014: 11:30 PM

The Leg! It’s Different!

When I had the patches on my arms I could very easily feel the warmth of the T as it spread around through my system– there was a slight numbing feeling that went along with it. With the patch on my upper thigh where there’s a lot of fat — I don’t hardly feel it at all. The “peaks” that would normally almost surprise me are barely noticeable at all, and I can’t tell if that’s because it has to work harder to soak in, or if it’s because it’s just a fattier part of my body.

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