aidenonymous: (gender)
I failed to actually post this last week when I should have, but here it is anyway.

boring )

Beep boop

Jun. 2nd, 2015 06:47 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
And I meant to post this one yesterday but fell asleep before finishing it. . .

things )
aidenonymous: (gender)
I had my second consult with Dr. Fischer today and wanted to post something quick, even though I've got a couple drafts of actual content floating around that I should finish.  The good news is that I'm still borderline for peri, but now a slightly better candidate than I was last year, so we are going ahead with the surgery!  I was scared because my chest is kinda inflamed right now due to the whole cycles not stopping thing.  Dr. Fischer was very confident about it, which helped put me at ease.  She said there was really no benefit to building a bunch of chest muscle now, although I'll still try to get to the gym some time soon.  My pecs are already well-defined enough that she didn't think I'd have any problems with nipple position, which is kind of hard to control with peri.

I got all the pre-op instructions and clarified some details.  After I explained my history of a bleeding disorder, they're not going to force me to stop T but did recommend I discontinue it for the week before surgery.  Normally they'd recommend stopping for two weeks before and at least a week after, and going to a half dose four weeks before (ha, joke's on them, I'm on the lowest metered dose and couldn't halve it if I tried).  They were happy I warned them that my medical clearance would have that on it before they saw a red flag like that.

The bad news is that they billed my insurance for the out-of-network rate even though we went through a ton of trouble to get it counted as in-network because my insurance company is tiny and doesn't have anyone who does FTM top surgery in their network.  So they quoted me three times what they should have for my contribution, which is about $1000 more than I can actually pay right now/  I have until mid-June to pay it, so that's enough time to save up some more if necessary, but I'm still hoping I'll be able to convince my insurance company to cough up the rest given the paperwork we painstakingly completed.  My partner's still out of work but will probably have a job by July, so I'm hoping I'll have secondary insurance to help with whatever's left over.

I hung out with three friends from college afterwards.  Two did not know about my transition, and one of them figured it out and was cool about it.  But those two obviously weren't people I'm especially close to, so the stakes were low.  I have a big meeting with my thesis advisor tomorrow about my qualifying exam and the status of my work (which was going really well until a few weeks ago when things kinda fell apart), so I should go to sleep.  I mostly wanted to squee about how this is actually happening!

Results

Oct. 6th, 2014 10:53 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
tl;dr It appears as though I'm still having cycles because I have too much estrogen for a female. My T's pretty much where I want it (although I can't seem to use it properly), but I've also got up to twice as much estrogen as I ought to have even without any T in the mix.  I don't really know what to do about this, and my doctor didn't really address it.

test results )


doctor's commentary )
Also, ergh, I really need to make some phone calls this week to schedule top surgery if I want it to happen this winter.  I don't know why I'm dragging my feet on this!

Ketchup

Aug. 4th, 2014 01:38 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I haven't been posting much, but things haven't been as boring as they were a couple weeks ago.  I upped my dose of T to 20.25 mg daily and am pretty happy with it.  I'm going to start posting T updates again this week to document new changes.

The most important news of the week is that I did not get a kidney infection. TMI )

Anyway, I missed all my important meetings last week and need to catch up.  I feel terribly about it and need to enforce some kind of normal sleep schedule so I do enough work.  But, I'm also hella distracted by concerns about moving.  I am successfully selling off lots of stuff I don't want to take with me to NYC, but there's still so much more.  How did I end up with all this ill-fitting clothing in the first place?!  I used some of that money to buy myself some grown up clothes on the internet but chose the wrong sizes, so I need to play the returns game.  I thought there was a decent chance of that happening, but it's still a hassle.
aidenonymous: (gender)
about T )

In other news, I have very little to report indeed.  I went to therapy yesterday and didn't have much to discuss, most of it about me trying to reinvent my image when transferring (eep) in a couple weeks because things with my mother actually went fine.  Passing as a teenage boy isn't going to be enough if I want colleagues I'll be meeting for the first time who know I'm in my mid-twenties to perceive me as male, plus I've been kind of wanting to dress my age for a while now.  Academics (in my field especially) dress incredibly informally, but I'm pretty much at the extreme end of that, and I think it would do me good to have more confidence in my appearance.  It's not really going anywhere, but I feel like it should.
aidenonymous: (gender)
So after I wrote that last post, I had a mild headache on and off for 24 hours.  Today, I reached the end of a bottle of 1% gel and rather than opening another decided to use the 1.62%, except that it was at my house and I was at my partner's place.  I figured, hey, there's not a big difference between 20.25 mg and 25 mg, I'll just use a whole packet rather than go over there in the rain.  It's been less than an hour, and I have a headache already.  I'm not very impressed with myself right now.
aidenonymous: (gender)
That's me alright.
I made a decision today. )

I also picked up my inhaler from the pharmacy today.  My endo sent the script electronically because albuterol isn't a controlled substance, and I didn't see until today that I'm supposed to use it four times a day.  My previous inhalers were either for emergency use only or twice a day, so either this is a different concentration or my asthma is way worse than it was before.  Also, I used it and didn't feel immediate relief.  I'm still coughing up mucus all damn day and apparently making a wheezing sound when I do it.  I'm going to try to make an appointment with my GP just in case my endo was wrong about the congestion, since that's a problem I'm more familiar with.  I guess I have trouble believing that the feeling of not having enough air in my lungs is caused by constricted airways rather than fluid build-up just because that's happened more to me over the past four years.

I chickened out on picking up my prescription for T.  I have about a month's worth of 1% gel left in the pump, plus over a month's worth in packets.  When I got to the pharmacy, I asked if I had refills on the 1% pump and they said yes and started filling the prescription.  My insurance apparently thinks one box with two pumps is a 60 day supply (when it's actually a 120 day supply), so they won't let me fill the prescription for the higher dose until late August, after I move.  I should be excited about starting the higher dose, but I'm actually really nervous.  I feel like I have a good thing going here and don't want to fuck it up by increasing the dose.  I can fill one and then have the other mailed to me in NYC but haven't yet decided which to fill first.  I've had enough difficult decisions for one day so will deal with this one tomorrow.

Oh, also, I told my Ph.D. advisor-to-be that I'm transferring and he's happy for me!  He didn't even ask me to terminate my contract.  I feel badly about spending his start-up-money when he's not getting a Ph.D. student out of it, but he didn't take up my offer, and I could really use the cash right now.  He had some advice about who I should work with, and I'm glad that it was advice I was already taking.  He actually wanted me to get started with someone there right away, so that's what I'm going to try to do!  I was actually drafting an e-mail for faculty at the new place before I heard back from my advisor, so that's a good sign that I'm not totally incompetent, right?  Okay, actually going to sleep now.
aidenonymous: (gender)
I had an endo appointment today.  I finally spoke up about this cyclic mood swings nonsense.  I'm ashamed that I can't just rely on stoicism to get through it, and I wish there were another way to solve the problem because I otherwise like the pace of changes on my current dose.  My endo thinks switching to shots with an equivalent dose won't make a difference.  She said that with compounded cream, the minimum dose necessary to stop periods is twice what I'm currently getting from gel.  She wanted to just have me double my current dose of 12.5 mg, which is what she prescribed when we met for the first time, but I talked her into switching me to AndroGel 1.62%, whose smallest metered dose is 20.25 mg, a tad lower.  The fact that I can negotiate my prescriptions with my endo is really cool, BTW.  She questioned my info about the effective dose being different for the new concentration, so we simultaneously looked it up on our phones.  It was pretty funny.

In any case, I hope this is worth it.  My insurance covers any AndroGel, so at least it'll be worth it in terms of cost.  I don't feel like I really need any more changes, but I'm not willing to add female hormones to my body if they come with a risk of breast growth.  I can deal with more masculinization (wouldn't complain about it in most regards), just don't want to get changes fast enough that I feel dissociated from my body.  I wonder if I should have advocated more strongly for shots, because then I'd have more of an ability to fine tune my dose instead of taking whatever Abbvie offers me.  Gel is pretty fantastically easy though, and this is still lower than what my endo calls a "low dose" for trans guys, so maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing.  I think I have enough AndroGel 1% to last until I move, so I'm going to wait a bit to start on the new stuff, at least until I figure out what I'm doing about top surgery.  I think my endo would be okay switching me to shots if I called and asked, but then I'd have to learn how to do it on my own when things are pretty crazy anyway.

This appointment had some other notable moments.  My blood pressure was totally normal.  It was a relief because at Dr. Johnson's office, my blood pressure was actually high.  The only other time I've ever had high blood pressure was when I was having an asthma attack in a hospital.  So now I know for sure that the culprit was indeed car sickness and I am not in earnest developing high blood pressure.

My endo was really concerned about my lungs though.  It was an early morning appointment, and I had a productive cough from when I woke up until a couple hours after the appointment.  It's been like that for over a week.  I told her I thought it was from binding too much at PTHC, since I've otherwise been cutting down substantially by working from home whenever possible and obviously not being very social outside the house otherwise.  She took a listen and kept coming back to the lower part of my right lung.  She asked if I was binding and tried putting the stethoscope under my binder in the back because it sounded "muffled."  I wasn't even binding very hard, just wearing a sportster.  Anyway, after asking me to breathe ten different ways, she concluded that my chest is not truly congested, but she can hear my asthma.  It wasn't really on my mind because I use my inhaler once or twice a year just for emergencies, usually triggered by cigarette smoke.  She expressed approval over the news that I'm in the process of making top surgery happen but didn't tell me I absolutely needed to do it, something that would have been preferable because it would take the decision out of my hands.

To lighten the mood, I'll end with the fact that my endo said my voice was definitely deeper than it was the last time we met (in February?).  [livejournal.com profile] alifjiim also said my voice was deeper than he expected when he visited last week.  (I have a couple half-written posts about PTHC and meeting super-cool internet people a couple weeks ago, swear I'll finish those up sometime soon.)  I also met a few people at PTHC who said my voice was deeper than they would have thought given my low dose.  I don't remember if [livejournal.com profile] theirearlystuff said anything about it though.  Did I ever mention that my father is a contra-alto?  My voice might be the deepest of all living males in my family, and it's a bit lower than my cis male partner's voice.  I'm pretty satisfied with that.  (-:

Bizarre

Apr. 6th, 2014 11:40 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I think I just got hit on by a guy as a guy for the first time.  I don't really have any hard evidence, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened.  I didn't like it any more than being hit on as a girl to be honest, but maybe it was the context.

In other news, I've been applying my T on an every other day basis since Thursday.  My voice was really ridiculously low on Thursday night, so I didn't apply it Friday.  I did apply it Saturday, and both Saturday and Sunday my voice felt really strangely deep.  Have I said "really" enough yet?  Anyway, it's not that I don't like where it is, but I'm kind of concerned about it changing so much at the inauspicious time of ten-ish months on T after previously seeming to settle down.  I know there's no "right time" to come out, but it will be a significantly better time once the semester ends.  I've already reached the point at which I can no longer pass for female at work, and my voice going into overdrive is not going to make the next month any easier.  I am not, however, considering taking a break again.  That was no fun at all.  So, ummm, awkwardness?
aidenonymous: (gender)
So I convinced myself that I was okay with shaving for the long and short term future and would teach myself after this week, when there's a break.  I planned to start T again on Friday. . . and then I didn't.  I got into the loop of "but I don't need it" and got stuck.  I miss feeling sure of myself.  I've been so swamped with work because I'm unable to set priorities and get anything done.  I can't seem to get out of it and don't like the idea that T will help.  On the other hand, I remember that feeling of calmness that I got when I first started T, like all the noise in my head of panicking over every little fucking thing was finally silenced.  (I can't even focus enough to write, here or in my paper journal.)  I've been feeling really terribly about my body for the past week, in part because I'm bleeding, although I like to think I usually handle it better than this.  I want that peace back, but I can't seem to make a decision about the cure for my indecisiveness!  If I'm not enjoying this break from T (and I definitely am not), why can't I just end it?  I'm gonna go hate myself offline now.

Fear

Feb. 15th, 2014 04:17 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I've got far too many half-written posts to be starting another, but I guess this is kinda important.  I pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday-to-Thursday and forgot to apply my T the next day.  That was actually the first time I forgot to do it at all.  "No biggie," I told myself.  I got home late and decided to apply it at midnight and let that be the dose for Thursday and Friday.

Last night, I looked at my face in the mirror and saw dark hairs growing on my upper lip and got scared.  When I woke up this morning, the dark hairs were still evident in the mirror.  I didn't want to dose myself, so I didn't.  I haven't had T in my system for about 18 hours.  Since 7 May 2013, I haven't spent more than 12 hours without any added T in my body.

Apparently I really, really don't want to shave my upper lip.  I know there are women, plenty of them, with more substantial mustaches than what I've got, and some of them shave, too.  That's not what this is about though.  I don't care if other people see my facial hair and make assessments of my gender that are in any way influenced by that.  I love having sideburns, but I'm somehow deeply afraid of both shaving my upper lip and having a tween's 'stache.  This is one of those internal dysphoria things that's independent of what anyone else thinks, and I'm more comfortable heeding those feelings than those I know are responses to something external, like how people interact with me.

What does this mean?  I don't know if I'm taking a break or stopping or what, although I suspect I'll cave and apply a dose for Saturday and Sunday at midnight tonight.  I'm sorta glad my partner's out of town right now because I don't think talking to him would clarify anything for me.  While I think it's important to leave evidence of my doubts where I can't deny them, I don't think this is something for which I should make myself accountable to others, especially those who are invested in my choice.

How does it feel?  I haven't been really self-conscious about my voice or unable to interact with people socially.  I don't think I can go a week without T, not now anyway, because I'm starting to feel anxious about all the stuff I have to do this week.  I have some public speaking lined up, among other things, and just feel like I need T in order to face the world.  But I'm going to need to get over my fear of shaving my upper lip first.  I don't know who to ask for help.  I really wish I had a big brother right now, preferably a non-binary one.

About Time

Oct. 12th, 2013 01:17 am
aidenonymous: (gender)
Today (okay, yesterday) was a day I'd been anticipating since I started T, the first time someone I didn't care to come out to with no knowledge of my gender identity noticed a physical change.  There wasn't anything awkward or uncomfortable about it, although I didn't really say anything that would have made me feel awkward or uncomfortable.

I had a brief meeting with a professor for whom I grade, who for the record has heard plenty of my voice pre-T and throughout the past five months.  As soon as I started the conversation, he interrupted me to ask if I was okay.  I replied in the affirmative and asked why he had asked that question.  He asked if I was sure I was alright, and again I responded in the affirmative and gave him a quizzical look.  He said my voice sounded like I was sick (a cold was implied).  Smiling, I repeated that I was fine and got on with the meeting.
aidenonymous: (gender)
It's no secret that I am having roommate problems.  Yesterday I figured out one thing contributing to the problem that is definitely my fault.  T has made me a bit more impulsive.  It's also made me more confident and sure of myself.  I used to be so cautious when I said things that if they were challenged, I would immediately back down and bring it up again later only after agonizing over whether I was actually wrong and determining otherwise.  Now, when I say something, I'm willing to defend it a bit, and this happens before I evaluate whether the criticism has merit.  I don't think I'm wrong less or more often than I was pre-T, but I am slower to admit it when I am.  It's not necessarily a matter of pride as much as there being an extra step in me evaluating the validity of things I say, like I take one round to defend before retreating the next round rather than immediately retreating and ending the conflict in one round.  I have made an ass out of myself a few times already, but now that I know it's going on I'm more self-conscious and will hopefully come off as a bit more graceful about being wrong.
aidenonymous: (gender)
It feels really good to be writing this now.  I've had a rough few days.  I've spent so much time on the phone sorting out things for my upcoming travel that I haven't gotten anything done for work.  My passport was finally mailed out today and should arrive tomorrow, and it will have a male sex marker.  And it will expire in two years, giving me that much time to get my name changed and update it without any additional fees, and I'll have at least some ID to use for everyday things in the meantime.  When the State Department called me to give me the update, they referred to me as "Mr. LastName," something that's never happened to me before and hadn't come up in previous conversations with them or anyone else in this process.  I was happy but unsure exactly what I was feeling at first.  Even though I write about it a fair bit, it still took some thought to determine it was recognition.

I've been considering whether this will be my last T-versary.  My plan was to stay on T through the summer and re-evaluate things before classes resume in the fall.  I'm not entirely sure what I was looking for, but I wanted to check in with my mental and physical health, my partner, and to what degree it was needed, because I delayed starting when it was only wanted.  It took a couple months before the novelty wore off enough that I could focus on other things again, my health has if anything improved aside from the acne, and my partner's had no trouble going with the flow.  The last thing I wanted to check is a bit more complicated.  I'm so pleased with the changes so far.  The biggest thing is obviously that I hear my own voice when I speak (though I still hope it keeps deepening, ha!), but there's more to it than that.  In my daily voice recordings, I've described it as stability and steadiness -- it just feels right.  For the most part, I don't think about changing my dose anymore, and at this point, I can't imagine discontinuing T in a month -- that would definitely be more of a disturbance than quitting when I'd vaguely planned to (derp, wrote the reverse of what I meant) continuing even when my ambient stress level increases.  I don't care whether that means it's needed or wanted because I've finally internalized that I am free from that condition.
aidenonymous: (gender)
I feel guilty that I haven't been posting recently.  I've been tyring to let work take over again but I keep getting sucked into mindless web browsing (mostly Reddit).  I'm feeling really unmotivated even though I'm consciously excited about my work.  I've also been dealing with my best friend outing me and trying to repair the damage to our relationship and my relationship with his parents.  That's really a matter for a separate post.

I also filed my passport application yesterday, although things hardly went as planned.  The postmaster didn't even notice that I'd checked the M box and never asked for my letter.  He also didn't notice all my ID was expired and made sure to comment on how "pretty" I am and address me as "miss" at least once per sentence.  I called the State Dept. afterwards and they said they'd contact me if anything was missing, and I'm worried that it will delay my passport application by enough that I can't go.  The silver lining is that I was approved for funding for the trip.  /-:

The past week or so has been awful for dysphoria.  I've been down on myself about my body -- I'm not gaining weight, but I am gaining body fat due to not getting out and doing anything. The rate of misgendering has skyrocketed, although that could be due to a combination of office drama (and horrible officemates who love reminding me that they think I'm female), the process of changing documentation (and interacting with godawful bureaucrats who don't even notice the sex marker I select because I'm so obviously female to them), and a general loss of confidence (which has led to a feedback loop).

I'm sure it's not helped by the fact that I haven't even had the spoons to bind regularly -- I'm small enough at this point that it can't be the biggest reason why I'm not passing, but it must contribute -- and have been going home early just to get out of having anything more than an undershirt on.  Just having anything on my chest is making me think about it too much to focus on anything else, and as long as I'm alone and not moving, I don't even notice that anything's wrong with it unbound.

On top of everything else, it's been really hot here for the past week, to the point that I'm arriving at work drenched in sweat.  If AndroGel can't be washed off for 5 hours after application in order to be fully absorbed, I'm pretty sure my effective dose has decreased.  This could explain my voice plateauing higher than its lowest so far (although definitely lower than when I started), something that's been bothering me a lot and contributing to the problems of the previous paragraph.

I ran the idea of doubling my dose by my partner, and he was really not happy about it.  He thinks I've had more emotional issues since starting T.  I was afraid he meant anger or mood swings, but he clarified that he meant my ADHD has worsened and I've been practicing more avoidance of responsibilities.  I talked with him about it and he was reasonably understanding, mostly because double my current dose is the same as the dose I was actually prescribed, but he still wanted me to wait until I talked to my therapist.

However, today was especially difficult due to having to interact with my peers in my home department, and the dysphoria was keeping me from getting any work done.  So, starting today, my 51st day on T, I'm taking the full 2.5 g.  Since today is also my 9 year anniversary of dating my partner (yeah, we got together really young, definitely not expecting this relationship to last so long), I wanted to talk with him first and make sure he could handle me doing this now (and he said he'd be okay), so the doses are about 8 hours apart.  Until it cools down enough that my sweat won't immediately wash off a decent fraction of it, I'll be applying two pumps in the morning. 

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aidenonymous

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