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I know it’s been a while…

…Sorry for the lack of updates! Things just became too much, but I’ve now hit too big of a milestone NOT to update things.

My last update, I was approximately 8 months on T. Unfortunately, I only made it to just under a year and a half before I had to stop T for medical and financial reasons (my white and red blood cell counts went very high, and I was paying 600$/mo for the patches alone). My fat almost immediately shifted back to a feminine place, and my muscles all immediately broke down, but most everything else stayed! Since my periods never stopped in the first place, I continue to grow small amounts of facial hair just under my neck as ‘scraggles,’ and my hairline and voice have all stayed the same.

And now? I’ve officially undergone top surgery! (Warning for a photo involving small amounts of blood in drains! All perfectly normal for this procedure.)

^F258F7FF81CA312DF0E4AD910053269DAA56D5E4C9465E16B2^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr^F960DB42946BB7E65E0B6E9109EC9B58E7024C09DDB4641517^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrI saw Dr. Mosser in San Francisco, and he did, from what I can see through the vest, a fantastic job. We agreed upon the double-incision procedure with nipple grafts. I was only under for 4-4 1/2 hours instead of the 5 he projected. He also removed 4 liters of fatty-liquids (out of a maximum of 5) through “trunk/inner thigh/outer thigh masculinizing liposuction,” My nipples are further apart and only obvious due to the spongey bandages protecting them that stick up through the vest a bit, and it’s REALLY weird — but super cool. They actually already have feeling in them again!

So far my pain levels have been low. I’ve been walking around, as the surgeon suggested. Short walks! All just a little circuit in the apartment. I’m already down from 2 pills every 4 hours to 1 pill every 4 hours (half! w00pw00p!). I’m also on an antibiotic and a vitamin C chewable twice a day.

They gave me a compression garment that was too small, on my lower half, so it didn’t come up all the way and the hole was in JUST the wrong place for me to use the bathroom. Mom ended up having to cut it a bit deeper, which is now causing my inner thighs to bulge and bruise a bit. But that’s okay.

I’ve been regularly updating my YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram — trying to give people a full ‘peek’ into my mental and physical state as I go through the process. Recovery being a HUGE part of the process involved in top surgery.

Things I suggest Pre-Op:
-Lower your sodium for swelling purposes and take Vitamin C! Eat well just in general.
-Start practicing laying on your back. You will NOT want to lay on your side or stomach at ALL. Prop up your knees!
-Up your water intake!
-Lessen the amount of time you bind, if possible, so that you can give your ribs a break.
-DO NOT SMOKE OR VAPE.
-Don’t drink alcohol for 2 weeks beforehand.
-If you can, do chest exercises to build up your pec muscles, that way the surgeon can better contour your scars underneath where they won’t be as seen.

Things I suggest Post-Op:
-GET UP AND MOVE. Don’t do anything vigorous — but ESPECIALLY if you have liposuction done, doing a little walking can work WONDERS for your circulation and pain! Your bruising and swelling will go down!
-WEAR YOUR COMPRESSION VEST. I know it feels like binding, but I haven’t taken mine off — and I can already tell just how badly I would regret it if I had.

Will probably add more as I think of things. Stay tuned!

8 months on T

Posting this now so I don’t forget!

8 Months:

-Hair: My hairline officially looks like a typical young guy’s hairline — I’m even growing hair in and around this one scar I have which was near but not touching my hairline before. My sideburns are still blonde but coming in more and more prickly and growing longer. My facial hair (mostly moustache, but a little under my lip too) is just dark enough to be seen in just the right light but often looks blonde. Arm hair is finally darkening to the point you can see it in just the right light.

-Shape: Yet continuing to change. I’ve lost 6 lbs so far and unfortunately it all seems to have come off my waist — but my hips are a little smaller as well. I do appear to be passing SLIGHTLY better in public, especially if I’m in my wheelchair.

-Voice: Still dropping, I still don’t really pass, but every once in a while I get ‘Sir’d’.

-Other: Started super lightly spotting over a long period of time, other than that period is still gone.

Percentage of time I pass in person: 2%

Percentage of time I pass over the phone: 2%

7 months on T!

-wipes brow- Phew! 7 months already. Just a few days ago it feels like I was celebrating having finally made it to 6 months!

7 Months:

-Hair: My sideburns have started to come in — moreso noticeable on my left side, but it’s all still very light and fine — they’re just growing longer and slightly darker than they nomally do. Also I’ve FINALLY begun to grow darker-than-blonde hairs above my upper lip (mostly on my mole, figures). I have to hold my lip up at an angle so the light doesn’t reflect off of them and make them look totally blonde, which means they’re getting there but still peach fuzz.

-Shape: Continues to change. Starting a plan for weight loss (mostly switching up how I eat for good), hoping to shrink my stomach back down and take my thighs with it!

-Voice: Still dropping, slowly but surely. Should be in the passable range, but I still don’t pass (even over the phone).

-Other: NO MORE PERIODS! At least so far! I missed my first-ever period since I first started getting them early-on and I could not be more excited!

Percentage of time I pass in person: 0%

Percentage of time I pass over the phone: 2%

New plan!

Okay, so not the best title but I couldn’t think of anything better.

This “new plan” I’m putting in motion is dietary — so if anyone has trouble dealing with, talking about, or hearing about food you may want to turn away!

Earlier this year I was quite literally slowly dying. I had a horrible thyroid condition which I was rushed in for surgery for. When I went in for surgery, I weighed approximately 130 lbs — just 5 lbs or so below the TOP end of “normal” for my height BMI-wise. Since then I have started T, gone on a low dose of Synthroid, and started an anti-depressant/mood stabilizer/anti-psychotic. 2 of these work for me. 2 of them work against me.

I went from weighing 130 to more like 170 and now my weight has pushed me into the “obese” category of BMI. This has my doctor concerned and even though I don’t particularly care about my looks (probably a sign of depression, but whatever) I should probably be doing something about it. I feel that I can’t move around a whole lot because of what causes me pain. However, there are things I can do, movement included, in order to lose a little weight!

Earlier this year when my thyroid was running rampant, I was eating compulsively almost constantly because my metabolism was running on overdrive. Since having my thyroid removed my metabolism has taken a nosedive, but my eating habits never changed. I still put away more than my body knows what to do with, and so the first thing I’d like to change is how I eat!

I started using a site called MyFitnessPal — this is a site I can track my calories, fat content, fiber content, etc in the food I eat, as well as keep track of how much I move around each day. I put in my weight (as of today I weigh approximately 167 lbs) and my height (I’m about 5’2″) as well as my age (21) — and I left my gender “female” so that the site knows what its’ doing for my body type. My “goal weight” I wasn’t sure about, so I put 135 lbs because that’s the very top end of “normal” for my height group.

It suggested I keep my calorie count (as someone completely sedentary) to around 1,200 calories a day. So today was a test run to see if I could keep my stomach happy, my numbers low, my health high, and my spirits in tow.

Today I ate:

Breakfast:
-Quick Oats (1/2 cup) – 150 calories
-Honey (1 tbsp) – 64 calories

Lunch:
-Gluten Free Crackers (8) – 140 calories
-Beef Summer Sausage (2 oz) – 180 calories
-Whipped Cream Cheese (3 tbsp) – 75 calories

Dinner:
-Banana (1) – 105 calories
-Strawberries (6-7) – 23 calories
-Rice Milk (1/2 cup) – 60 calories
-Honey (1 tbsp) – 64 calories

Snacks:
-Steamed Broccoli (1/2 cup) – 25 calories
-Mayo (1 tbsp) – 90 calories
-Taco Bell Black Beans and Rice – 180 calories [won’t be doing this again]
-Pistachios (1/8 cup) – 80 calories
-Rice Thins (2 crackers) – 20 calories

Drinks:
-Taco Bell Coffee (12.5 oz) – 10 calories
-Decaf Green Tea (x3 mugs) – 0 calories

GRAND TOTAL: 1,266 calories
Attempted total: 1,200 calories
How high I went over: 66 calories

As you can see, I went a little over — so to balance things out, I did 20 minutes of light cleanup around the house such as putting groceries away and picking up the floor.

Overall this isn’t bad for a first try. I was able to down about 5 glasses of water, I’m gonna try to have 3 more before bed — but I’m cutting off my food source once it hits 8 pm. I knocked out my salt craving with just 2 rice thins (which were very tasty, but I didn’t feel the need to have more) and I was able to write up a couple more things for my shopping list like brown rice, kefir, cottage cheese, celery, lemons and some other stuff I’m gonna add to my new diet. Overall I’m working on keeping portion sizes down, having no more than 3-4 meals a day, and minimizing snacking between meals so that I can get down to the amount of food a normal person eats and hopefully shed just enough weight to slide back into the “overweight” category of BMI.

I’ll be checking my weight each day at the same time for the first week just to see if this is a horrible idea that will cause my weight to skyrocket — after that I’ll weigh myself just once a week and see where it goes from there!

I made it! 6 months on T!

So I’ve finally made it 6 months on T (PARTAY) and this is where shit starts to pick up. Around my 8 month mark, I’m gonna call the top surgery center about scheduling a consultation — then I’m hoping to have had top surgery right around the time of my 12 month mark. Halfway there already!

Now that I’ve been back on the proper, stable dose of T I’m supposed to be on for a month, my numbers have been back to where they should’ve been for roughly 2 weeks now and things are picking back up slowly but surely!

6 Months:

-Shape: I continue to be told I look different everywhere I go when I see people that knew me from before. I still don’t appear “passable,” as people continue to misgender me wherever I go. A little flabbier in places such as my stomach than before, but my hips and thighs continue to try to shrink.

-Voice: Every week my therapist mentions that it sounds like it has gotten deeper — and my recordings do seem to confirm this. I also, just 2 days ago, passed over the phone for the first time ever without having to correct the person’s pronoun-usage!

-Other: Peroids still there but continue to get lighter.

Percentage of time I passed in person: 0%

Percentage of time I passed over the phone: 2%

5 months on T

So it sounds like my changes had slowed due to my T levels slowly dropping, which they do as you first start T. I went from the rough 440 range to a rough 350 range — so my endo raised my dose to dose and a half. A 4 mg patch and a 2 mg patch at the same time. I’ve only been on this higher dose for less than a week, but in about a week or two I should see the effects of the higher dose kick in (it takes roughly 2 weeks for T levels to see a difference, and last time the change was instantaneous).

5 Months:

-Hair: Eyebrows are super bushy. Sideburns are prickly/still short but blonde down to parallel with the top of my earlobes, and the hair just below my jaw on my neck has started to get pricklier. I can pretty much see everywhere I will be growing facial hair once it starts to come in darker due to the dense platinum blonde peach fuzz and dark shadow coming in. Hair on the front of my upper body seems to be getting as dark as the lighter brown hairs on my arms, all-over. Hair all the way up to my hips on my legs is getting consistently darker, but the hair on my arms is only dark up to my elbow. I just shaved my face, will see how long it takes for it to grow all the way back in, blonde or not.

-Skin: Acne is starting to get pretty bad, cleansing and scrubbing every other or every third day, but even stepping that up doesn’t seem to slow it down. Body odors of all kinds smell different now. Skin still very ‘soft’ in texture, but calluses form more easily.

-Shape: Face is noticeably squarer to everyone around me, when I smile it looks like I’m holding back a bigger smile due to the changing in fat and how pronounced my cheekbones are. Neck is wider, and adam’s apple is low enough now that people are noticing it — rather than it just being something I notice. Waist has completely moved, and hips are still moving — thighs are shrinking slowly starting down at the knee. Hands seem/feel wider, and I have a bit of a gut now — though it isn’t too bad, especially when binding. Overall muscle is both easier to build and maintain (noticeable gain in my trapezius/deltoids/biceps) but there seems to be a limit to the amount of muscle I’m able to maintan regularly.

-Voice: Continues to drop a little more every day — noticeable to everyone around me, but I still get called one of the “ladies” whenever around women. Wondering if maybe I would pass better in the voice area if I surrounded myself with more men, but perhaps that would just show off how high my voice still is.

-Other: Peroids still in flux, pain has come back — but they’ve gotten shorter again.

Percentage of time I pass in person: 2%

Percentage of time I pass over the phone: 2%

Nearing 5 months!

I saw my Endocrinologist (poor lady is 5-6 months preggy and already huge) a few hours ago and as I had pretty much expected, the blood results came back to show that my testosterone levels had dropped since the initial spike from having started taking T. This is pretty standard as you find your dose and wait for your numbers to settle where they’re gonna stay as you start — but they dropped low enough (from 440ish to around 350) that my Endocrinologist felt it would be a good idea if we raised my T dose.

Now, when you take the patches, this can be tricky. You can take the 2 patch, the 4 patch, or a 2 and a 4 at the same time — in general there isn’t anything else. I’m on the 4 mg patch right now, which means we had a little bit of wiggle room — we decided it would be best if I went with the 2+4 mg patches daily, effectively raising my dose to what should put me in the range we’re hoping for (the average/typical male range of my age group) at between 500 and 700.

I still have a week’s worth left, so I won’t be starting the 2s until I start over with my next batch of 4s. Sadly, this means I won’t be able to get the process of raising my levels started right away, but I’m really excited!

When you see your results sort of plateauing and not moving as quickly as they were before, you get a bit frustrated (understandably). My periods hadn’t stopped, my body hair had stopped coming in as quickly or darkening as fast (still no sign of any dark facial hair which I’d love to have), my body fat had stopped moving around as nicely and overall it felt like while my voice was dropping — it just wasn’t doing so fast enough. If I had started off on the injections, this probably wouldn’t have been a problem — but I made the choice to start off with the patches (and for as long as I possibly can, I’ll continue to use them) so I’m gonna wait it out until everything works out.

Now that my voice is nearing passable and still dropping, the one change I’m looking forward to most that should come within the next few months is for my periods to stop! It makes sense that some of the pains had come back since my numbers went up nearly 100 from where they were — raising up above where my numbers were before should be just enough to kick my body into the proper gear and shut my periods down for good.

Yet still no matter where I go, what I do, how I sit, who I’m with or how I sound — I still get ‘she’d’ unless I’m absolutely completely alone, in the back, hoodie wrapped around me with a really great binder on, sitting completely hunched over. It’s frustrating, but I’m not yet 5 months in and I know there’s still plenty of time to go. Grr.

Looking back

I know I’ve only been on T for just over 4 months, but I’ve had so many experiences having been out as trans* for what feels like so many years — I’m only just realizing now how far I’ve come…and how impossible it would’ve been for me to truly pass before. It’s disappointing to think that as hard as I used to work — getting people to use all male pronouns and using male on all my applications and coming out to so many people and double binding — or using ace bandages and tights pre-binders and cutting my hair off and wearing all men’s clothes and doing my best to talk low (which still made me sound like a chipmunk)…none of it mattered. And I’m so glad I only just figured this out now, or it would’ve felt like everything I was doing was pointless, especially right as it felt like my chance at hormones was being taken away from me again.

Right now I have only passed once in the last several weeks (over a skype call with a friend’s friend to whom I was outed before having been met) — and the time I sort of passed before this was a haircut, and I’m still not 100% sure I passed or not, but the last time I got my hair cut I certainly did not. I have a long way to go, but it feels like I’ve come so far I should be passing more by now. I shouldn’t have this much of a problem getting people to see me the way I want to be seen, I’m so close to /being there/ I just don’t understand what else I can be doing. Which means there isn’t really anything else I can be doing. Which is beyond frustrating.

This blog is gonna be a short one…I just really needed to get that off my chest. Ah well.

4 months on T.

I’m releasing this a day early because I’m too excited and if I put it off any longer, I’m going to completely forget to do this!

4 Months:

-Hair: Hair up to my knees and elbows is consistently getting much darker/easier to see at all times and the hair on my calves has gotten even longer and even darker. Facial hair is still blonde but can be seen from a little further away (a foot or two, where before I had to be pressed up against the mirror with the light shining on it just right) and there’s a light shadow forming above my lip. Sideburn hair is prickly but blonde down to just above my earlobe, and there’s a light shadow forming. My entire stomach is covered in fine darker hairs now.

-Skin: Okay…I can no longer go a single day without deodorant. Before I could go a few days to a week without using deodorant — I just didn’t smell all that bad. Now by midday if I don’t apply deodorant I can smell myself — and my scent has changed. More acne on my face, trying to get back into using a cleanser. Acne forming in the center of my back from boxer-line to mid-back.

-Shape: Face is surprisingly square ’round the jaw, very defined cheeks when I turn my head to the side. Developing the well-defined Adam’s Apple and infamous baby fat my Dad’s side is known for but my adam’s apple is still rather high. If it weren’t for how round and large my butt is, my shape (when binding) would be relatively male. I wouldn’t have to walk with my pelvis quite so far forward to have a relatively flat backside.

-Voice: If I weren’t recording myself and playing it back, I wouldn’t believe my voice was dropping (head voice is staying pretty much the same). That said, as I play it back — it is indeed still dropping. I still don’t usually pass in person or over the phone unless I keep my head down, my mouth shut, my pelvis out (leaning back so far it looks like I’m sliding halfway down the chair with my legs wide open helps) and about 4 layers of thick clothing on, but I’m slowly dropping into high-male range (I may need to work on my speech patterns more than the tone of my voice) and for the first time ever I passed to a new person I had never spoken to before over the phone. They could also see me — so I put it down as me passing “in person” as well! Me talking normally and me talking about as low as I can push my voice down sound nearly the same now.

-Other: Periods are still there, pains have come back but this latest one only lasted a few days and was very, very light. Gonna stick it out for a few more months before I complain about it, but we may need to raise my dose — which is tricky when you’re on the patch. My T levels are in the 400s where typical male range for my age is 500-700, so there is some wiggle room.

Percentage of time I pass in person: 2%

Percentage of time I pass over the phone: 2%

(To hear my voice last month and just as I started, just scroll down to the bottom of This Post.)

In other trans-related news, my psychiatrist has suggested I move my date for changing my name up. Originally I was going to have it changed by the time I got my top surgery done sometime in Spring next year — but instead they recommended I get it done more like Winter of this year. This will help solidify my identity in my mind and everyone else’s — to sign and write and say my new name so that others will see me the way I want to be seen sooner. I’ll continue to give the name a try and get comfortable with it, and try to see if I can change my name before the end of the year.

Latest on Mental Health

Because I have a lot to cover I’ll try to make it brief and cut the ‘extra’ to a minimum, my apologies if I end up rambling. /warning

My psychiatrist is very no-bullshit. She’ll tell you exactly what she thinks, and will only ever prescribe and diagnose as she sees fit, which is why I chose her in the first place. If she thinks you’re neglecting a diagnosis she’ll get in your face about it, and if she thinks you’re making something of a thing that you don’t suffer from, she’ll reel you back in. As such, I believe her when she tells me I have a given condition — even though it sounds like I have a lot.

I was originally diagnosed Bipolar II (manic depressive disorder) many years ago, but got off my meds and decided to stop taking them altogether. They made me feel sort of like an empty zombie, and that was after I got put on the ones that seemed to work the best. Many years later the diagnosis has not changed, I’ve been put on 2 different medications (a mood stabilizer and an antipsychotic), and have returned to regular psychology appointments once a week for the last near-year now, and have returned to near normalcy. I still have anxiety spikes and consistent depression, but it’s so much easier to deal with and it comes from a different place now.

A more recent diagnosis is that of Borderline Personality Disorder. One much scarier than the others in my mind — the only time I had heard of it before was in connection with serial killers and those of unsound mind, but in truth it’s just a disorder of impulses and lack of impulse control. I have such impulses to drink and speed and smoke and steal — but my control is much better than most with BPD because of just how hard my family worked to raise me when I was younger.

Just today I came back from my appointment to find we’re nearing stability in my “Axis 1” conditions and that therefore soon we’ll be moving into my “Axis 2” conditions. I brought a few new things I had realized that have been going on for a while now that were mentioned to me by friends and family — and she mentioned that since first meeting me she wondered if I might be on the Autism spectrum. More specifically, Aspergers with a touch of OCD.

As someone that knows VERY little about the Autism spectrum — this was surprising to me. I have stims, apparently — rocking back and forth and excessively nodding my head for long periods of time, especially when talking to people as I start to get stressed or anxious. I also do them when thinking back on conversations I have had that stressed me out or made me anxious. This said, “neurotypical” people (a category of people I do not fill already) AND those that are autistic stim and do so daily — the different being the type, intensity and frequency of said stims. I also appear to have sensory issues — something rare to those that aren’t autistic — such as when I listen to the right music at the wrong time (even if I absolutely love the song and always have) I can sometimes become so nauseous I feel the need to puke. Stopping said music makes the feeling go away. She said these two things together paired with my obsessive tendencies, narrow field of interests and desire to go on about them for extended periods of time, and other habits/actions make her think Aspergers.

The interesting thing is that common medications for all of these conditions listed above (Bipolar, Borderline, Aspergers) include Abilify — which is a medication that I’ve been put on. Which means should the Aspergers diagnosis stick once my Axis 1 conditions are completely stable, my treatment plan stays EXACTLY the same. Nothing changes. An anti-depressant may need to be added as she wants me completely depression-free — but otherwise I may be able to go through what’s called “mono-therapy” where you use only 1 medication to deal with absolutely everything that you suffer from. Exciting, as if I can get off the nasty-tasting Lamictal, Abilify acts as a mood stabilizer, anti-depressant, and anti-psychotic in those with the conditions that need them all in one.

So, lots have been going on — the more I bring to her, the more I realize, and the more resources open up to me so that I can better live my life without suffering as much or having it as tough. I’m really excited to see the changes I have on Abilify, and I hope to continue to see more!

Officially 3 months on T!

3 Months:

-Hair: General body hair (mainly legs, stomach, and arms) is starting to get darker (though at just the wrong angle, light still makes it look blonde), get a little longer, and become more dense. Leg hair now reaches from just below my ankles almost all the way up my thighs. Facial hair is still blonde but a little longer, denser and pricklier. Hair on top of my head has stopped shedding, is growing a little faster, is a little less soft and more coarse, and my hairline has filled in/come forward and is a little more rounded. Start of a happy trail. Eyebrows have gotten bushier and thicker.

-Skin: Still just as soft, a little oilier and sweatier. A little more acne on my face (mostly on my forehead), the start of some acne along my spine on my lower back. Get a little more smelly a tad sooner, and I smell a little different. Skin seems to be a tad thinner around my hands, veins have become a lot darker and more prominent.

-Shape: Adam’s Apple is a bit more obvious and a tad lower, larynx is a lot thicker. Chin is more starkly square, cheekbones are more obvious and my general face is a lot less round. Neck is a little wider. When I smile I have dimples now. Shoulders have become broader, chest has become less dense and is a little easier to bind, and my hands have become wider. Muscle is easier to gain, arms, thig and calves have become bulkier and less flabby. Waist has become a little wider, hips are a lot thinner. Gut is a little pudgier, but thighs and butt are a little smaller. Might be just a smidge taller (5’3″ last I checked, will measure soon). Shape changes are more noticeable to others, rather than just to me.

-Voice: Much deeper. Cracks on a daily basis, doesn’t seem to go up and down as much now (goes up a little every few days before dipping down even lower). Normal speaking voice is almost the same as the lowest I can speak, seems to resonate from my chest — but without being so low it would do damage to my vocal chords. That’s just where it sits. Head voice had dropped as my voice did, but has started to go back up as my voice continues to drop. Can hit very low notes when singing compares to before (roughly Tenor range, I think), can no longer hit high notes like I easily could before. People have a harder time recognizing me over the phone and notice the difference in my voice in person now.

-Other: Periods have slowed, longer gaps between them. Much lighter, much less painful, but last just as long or longer than before. Nails grow in faster, and slightly thicker — but still seem to be flimsy. Appetite fluctuates a lot. Weight has stayed the same, but I’ve lost fat — which means I’ve gained more muscle (167 pounds when I last checked). Easier to walk with a more masculine gait and sit in a more masculine way, legs a little wider apart/pelvis a tad more forward/slight sway to my shoulders. General self-confidence is up, but sadly I don’t seem to pass any more than I did before in person or over the phone.

Percentage of time I pass in person: 0%

Percentage of time I pass over the phone: 0%

Unfortunately even when double-binding in all male clothes, wearing my men’s glasses which square out my face, with my men’s haircut fully done up with products, wearing men’s deodorant and smelling of men’s soap and shampoo, and all of my ‘posture changes’ in effect — reaching down and pulling out the lowest and most masculine voice I can manage without using any feminine inflections — I only ever get called “ma’am” and “lady.” And man is that getting really old, really fast. I feel like so much has happened and my confidence has gone up so much in the last 3 months that SOMETHING should’ve changed. Not even over the phone do people act any different — I still get all “ma’am” and “lady.”

As I near my 3 months…

So, I’m about 3-4 days out from my 3 months on T (typing on a shiny new laptop as my other one almost literally exploded one me and proceeded to quite literally fall apart), and had the guy at the pharmacy not been extra cool about things — I’d feel like I had nothing to celebrate.

The whole “prior authorization” fiasco has gone from bad to worse, my Endo said she’d done it — but of course when I went to fill my prescription when the delay on my prescription finally kicked in — I was told I was going to have to pay a whopping 450$ for it. Because my Endo had apparently /not/ sent in anything at all. A quick call to the insurance verified this. I called her back to yell at her for beating around the bush serious-like, and all she told me was that I’d have to wait for Monday to roll around for her to do anything about it (which I already know isn’t going to end well, because she doesn’t come in on Mondays) even though it was midday on a Thursday. She sent in a temporary prescription for 5 patches — which didn’t end up happening — and of course we went in and were told we’d have to pay almost 90$ for about 3 of them. Then the guy looked at us, looked at my chart, and noticed the reason why I’m taking Androderm and how long I’d be on it (I.E. The rest of my life).

He took one look at my chart, one look at the expression on my face, pulled 5 patches out of a box — handed them to us for free, and when I get approved, we’re to hand 5 patches from the box back in and continue on as usual.

-cherubs sing-

Tuesday is my 3 month T-versary, and in celebration we’re gonna head out to a cool museum and I’m gonna run around in my wheelchair. I’m a little under the weather right now, so I’m only hoping I feel better before then.

I’ve decided to move forward on my research into top surgery. I’ve picked out 2 places I want to look into more than the rest — both in San Francisco. It’s a plane ride out, short hotel stay and plane ride back — along with a consultation fee — but this is a surgery I’m gonna live with for the rest of my life, so I may as well make it count. I’ve been on hormones since early April, I’ll shoot for giving them a call around 7 months, maybe the consult around 9 months, and then the surgery as I come up on 12 months. By then I’ll be in the best shape I can be, and far enough along that the bodily changes I need to see pre-surgery will have occured.

IN THE MEANTIME I’m carefully cataloguing each major change that happens as I notice them. I can’t speak to the internal or mental health type changes, as I’m sort of in a major depressive flux right now (completely unrelated). Instead of a huge list of bullet-points people will have to pick through, I’m splitting ’em up into categories — Hair, Skin, Shape, Voice and Other. I’ll also be putting up percentages as far as how often I seem to pass in person, and over the phone. Currently those numbers are at a whopping 0% and 0%, I’m hoping as time goes on — those numbrs will improve.

Speaking of mental health, I got some interesting news from the psychiatrist. It looks like on top of my Bipolar 2 diagnosis, I’ve also got Borderline Personality Disorder. That’s sort of a big, scary diagnosis that not a lot of people know a lot about (though some think they do, and boy are they off-base) — but apparently due to my upbringing and how hard my parents worked to raise me to be as I am, I’m in one of the best places I can be. She had been considering this as a diagnosis since I started going there, but some of the stuff that has happened in recent weeks pushed it from on-the-shelf to in-her-face. Luckily, my medication-regimend will not change, and since I’m already in therapy — I’m, again, in the best place I can be.

The only other stuff I’ve got to talk about are the little things I’m trying to change over time so that I can pass better and be more comfortable in general. I’m working on my posture while trying to learn to take up more space when I sit. When I walk, I practice keeping my pelvis more out in front of me and my shoulders a little up. I put a little sway to them while keeping my hips still — this is probably the trickiest part (which I’ve tried to do by observing other guys and emulate ’em). I’ve been working out more (which is SO much easier on T) and building up my arms slowly but surely (which will make pushing myself in my wheelchair a bazillion times easier) so they’ll look a bit wider and a touch more masculine. I’ve also been sure to keep my hair nice and short in a style that’s easy to maintain that I actually like — and though I should probably go out and buy some new shirts, I’m keeping my wardrobe loose and comfortable with a few nice pieces of ‘dress clothes.’

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading. A few days from now I’ll be posting my big 3 month update (the first big milestone in a transguy’s transition) with a list of major changes and a short voice recording with a before-and-after of the clip I did on my first day of T, and a clip I’ll record on day 91 of my transition.

2.5 months on HRT and sudden problems

TW: Swearing, anxiety

So, I’m down to the last of my patches as I near my 3 month mark. I had to throw a few patches away (they say if the adhesive sticks to the paper underneath without pulling away cleanly you’re supposed to toss it as a defective patch) so though I haven’t hit 3 months yet I’m actually behind by a few. I go to call in 2 weeks ago about a letter I got in the mail, this “Prior Authorization” notice, and tell my doctor that she needs to log into this website, enter in the reason I’m taking Androderm, and recieve a letter in the mail stating whether or not they’re going to continue to cover me (which they will, as Trans* hormones are covered under my medical plan and this patch raises my levels to just below the standard range).

Well, a week went by and I was nearly down to a week’s worth of patches — and I know how slow my Endocrinologist can be sometimes. I called in asking if they’d done the letter yet, to which they said no, and asked if they could put my prescription in before the 1st (when the Prior Authorization requirement goes into effect) to which they said they’d get it started.

A week has now gone by, and my pharmacy doesn’t even know a prescription for Androderm is on its’ way. They’ve been dragging their feet and doing nothing for so long that I’m now down to the wire and down to my last like 2 patches (one for tonight, one for tomorrow). Monday is the last day of this month, meaning as of midnight Monday night this letter goes into effect — and until we recieve that letter (which can take weeks sometimes) I’m not covered for my Androderm and I’m gonna have to pay 450$ for a month’s worth.

So now I’m panicking. I JUST started to see some changes, and there is no way in hell I’m gonna make my housemate fork over 450$ for a month’s worth of patches, and I just don’t know what to do. I’ve been in gender-related therapy for like 9 years, and have been eligible for hormones for nearly 5 years before FINALLY being allowed to start less than 3 months ago. Why is it that I have to work so much harder than anyone else? Why is the way that I do things always the right way, right before I get bitten in the ass for it?

Monday morning is when my doctor is willing to START this process, and I don’t even know if I’m gonna have a patch left for Monday night. If they don’t do this AS OF MONDAY I do not honestly know how long I’ll be without my patches, but any time at all is going to start to reverse all of the hard work I’ve been putting in, and might slow my progress down in the future when I finally start putting them on again.

I really wish SOMEONE in a position that can actually help me would move their asses and actually give a fuck for once and HELP me get this DONE. I do ALL the hard work, seeking out every possible professional I need, doing every ounce of research I can to make this process go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved, going through my Real Life Test for like 4 years out of the required 3-12 months, have been seeing my current therapist for over a year when they require 3 months, have been in gender therapy for almost 9 years when they require seeing this has been a problem for 2 years, and I just CANNOT figure out what it is I’m doing wrong. Now I get to spend the whole weekend in a state of nothing but stress and panic over something that I seem to have no control over. I don’t even want to post all the amazing results I’m starting to see, because in a week they may slow to a stop.

I thought nearing your 3 month mark was supposed to be your first major milestone and a huge joy in a transguy’s life. Mine seems to be nothing but misery so far.