aidenonymous: (Default)
2017-01-08 10:59 pm

T Update

I got a notification from LJ today saying someone "liked" an old T update of mine.  I didn't even know that was a thing you could do on LJ.  Anyway, it reminded me that I haven't made a real update since the summer.  So, without further ado:

I started T 7 May 2013, some 1343 days ago.  I've spent the majority of that time on 1.25 g 1% gel daily, though I've also spent about a year on 1.25 g 1.62% gel daily, and I was on 20 mg weekly injections for six weeks.  I've also been on E-blockers for a bit over a year: raloxifene for a couple months, anastrozole for a few more, and Lupron for almost a year.  For that matter, I switched from 1.62% gel back to 1% gel two and a half weeks ago when I got back the results of my most recent levels check.  tl;dr my levels were squarely in the middle of the healthy male range (T 703 ng/dL, free T 120.2 pg/mL, E 22 pg/mL) for the first time, and I'm not comfortable with that.  It is also unclear to me how my levels got that high given that on the same dose of T but without the E-blocker, my levels never got very far above 400 ng/dL.

I've noticed some changes since my last update, too.  I started growing a lot more hair on my face.  I shave my upper lip every other week or so, and I pluck out approximately one hair every two weeks from my neck/under my chin.  My legs have gotten even hairier, if that was possible -- this was something three other people commented on independently even though I didn't really notice.  My voice has gotten deeper in the last year -- also something other people noticed that I did not.  I think my hairline's finally changing a little, but my barber assures me I'm not losing my hair.  I'm pretty happy with all these changes except for the facial hair.  I don't feel up to dealing with it, but I seem to be managing anyway.

NSFW TMI )

aidenonymous: (gender)
2016-08-15 12:00 am
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T Update

I haven't made one of these in a while, although I have commented on T changes in friends-only entries.  Since my third T-versary three and a quarter months ago, I've noticed some changes that were probably in the works for a while.  I increased my dose of T to 1.25 g of AndroGel 1.62% daily exactly one week after my third T-versary, so exactly three months ago yesterday.  That's worth posting about, right?  The higher dose helped with the hot flashes from Lupron, although it didn't entirely eliminate them.  It's manageable enough that I'm not thinking of increasing my dose further.

Things I've noticed since my last post:  I now have visible hair on my arms, incuding a stray hair on my shoulder and hair on my hands.  It's strange.  I still feel jealousy when I see men with hair there, so I think it's just weird to get used to it on me, even if it's something I want.  Additionally, I have visible hair on my feet and my big toe.  That's most of what I posted about in bits and pieces over the past few months.  I'm also building muscle easily now that I'm exercising again, but my hips are very much still there in shape if not size, and my waist is still troublingly small.  I have a long way to go with building up my upper body.  Finally, I was able to confirm that my feet have grown since I started T.  I'm not sure when it happened, but I tried on old shoes to check what the numbers already told me.


That's all for now!

aidenonymous: (gender)
2016-05-07 12:00 am
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T Update: 3 years

Though I took some breaks totaling about three months in all, I started T three years ago today and will approximate this as being three years on T.  Aside from six months plus six weeks on 1.25 g AndroGel 1.62%, six weeks on 20mg weekly injections, and a total of three months (not consecutive) off T entirely, I've spent the past three years on 1.25 g AndroGel 1% (and more recently its generic).

The past year has seen more change than I expected, probably due to the addition of E-blockers.  I took raloxifene for two months, anastrozole for four months, and Lupron for two months at this point, all in an effort to end the cycles that have continued the entire time I've been on T.  Because I was on E-blockers for so much of the year (and off T for a decent chunk of the rest of it), I can't credit T for all the changes, but I'll document them here anyway.  The only change I'm certain is due to the E-blockers is an increase in sex drive and a cessation of cycles, and that only happened very recently on Lupron.

My voice has continued to deepen, as measured by my recordings as well as my passing rate on the phone.  My junk has gotten bigger in spurts every once in a while (and I managed to not find this to be especially problematic); I would say it's not terribly below average for trans guys, but that's based on a really small sample size of tame porn.  In addition to growing visible hair on my arms and toes, I started growing a nontrivial amount of dark vellous hair on my face, which I shave every 1-2 weeks, but it threatens to thicken.  The hair on my thighs has grown fiercely.  Since having top surgery, I've noticed a lot more hair on my chest, but it's just long, dark vellous hairs still.

Also, my face has cleared up substantially in the past few months, for reasons unrelated to hormones.  I've been on a topical retinoid and a topical antibiotic, plus a benzoyl peroxide wash of some kind, for nine years -- I had bad acne pre-T.  At the suggestion of a (MTF) friend, I took a break from the retinoid and replaced it with a moisturizer containing salicylic acid, and a month later my face was back to my pre-T acne level, although the blackhead to cyst ratio is still higher on T than it was before.  My face still gets super oily, but it's not leading to the unreasonably high level of acne I saw over the first two and a half years on T.

Finally, I started exercising for the first time in four years a few months ago and have seen the shape of my hips change, though I think it's more because of the exercise and E-blockers than T alone.  It's the first time anything has made a dent in the fat deposits above my hip bones that make my small waist so prominent.

The plan for the indefinite future is to stay on Lupron.  Since starting Lupron, though, I've struggled with low energy levels and will as a trial go back to 1.25 g AndroGel 1.62% for a few weeks while traveling to see if that improves, even though I don't want more physical changes.  I'll make another public entry about the results of the experiment.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2016-04-15 10:29 pm
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T Update: 1 month on Lupron

I'm one month shy of three years since I started T (so some four months shy of being three years on T) and got my second Lupron injection today.  This one was no more painful than any other intramuscular injection I've ever gotten, which was a relief.  I'm feeling optimistic about continuing on Lupron until my next endo appointment.

cut for talk of you know what )

I haven't noticed any other changes.  I apparently forgot to post for a while, but I was put on AndroGel 1.62% in December and then I went back on AndroGel 1% a month or two later because I started growing a mustache.  It's currently halted at hairs like those on my upper arms: brown and visible but finer than those on my scalp.  I was worried that on a more effective E-blocker it would pick up where it left off, but it hasn't changed since I lowered my dose.  I have to shave about once a week to keep it from being visible.  My sideburns are the same way, but I actually like them.  They're denser than the hairs on my upper lip.  I'm rambling: point is, I'm celebrating not getting changes.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2016-03-17 08:44 pm
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T Update

I haven't made one of these in forever.  Seeing as I'm about three months shy of my third tranniversary, I should probably start preparing something.  For now though, all I've got is news on the E-blocker front.  I got my first shot of Lupron today.  It was the most painful injection I've ever gotten, though it remains to be seen if the side-effects will overshadow that.  I was dizzy and had a headache after the injection but can't say whether that was the drug (doubtful) or a reaction to the pain of an intramuscular injection to the thigh with a humongous needle (likely).  Anyway, hopefully this heralds an end to the cyclic mood swings that have plagued me for the past two years, not to mention other inconveniences.

As for changes since my last post, I hit some kind of turnover point in passing recently, where I consistently pass even in spaces where people know I'm ~25-30, so I'm guessing my face has changed?  Or maybe my body shape has improved (probably more due to working out than T though)?  A few people have commented on my voice since I started the E-blocker saga, so I'm pretty sure my voice has continued to deepen due to lower estrogen levels, which might also explain it.

Other than that, I'm starting to grow more facial hair, although it's still closer to heavy peach fuzz than terminal hairs, let alone whiskers.  I shave with electric beard trimmers about once a week to keep from looking dirty, but now I have to shave my upper lip and chin as well as sideburns.  As I mentioned, I've dipped my feet back into rock climbing and am not being held back by strength or endurance at all, which is different from when I first got into it pre-T.  The same goes for yoga re: limiting factors, although that was never as hardcore.

Yep, that's about it.  I'm still around and will post more as the Lupron does its thing.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-12-15 08:19 pm
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T Update

I had an appointment with my endo-ish person yesterday and realized I hadn't checked in in a while.  I've been on anastrozole for about six weeks, and it didn't stop my cycles either.  Though she said it would start working immediately, my doc wants me to give it more time.  The next step before putting me on a monthly injection is imaging of the offending organs, and I really want to avoid that.  (We both think my symptoms are fairly consistent with nothing being "wrong," but she's a doctor so has to be cautious or something.)  She also wants me to increase my dose, so I'm going to try Androgel 1.62% again, at the risk of getting more changes when I can't handle anything changing.  She doesn't think it will help with the cycles (which was the opinion of my first endo) but she does think it will help with my mood.  (I'm still severely depressed.)  My plan is to get blood work done next week and switch to the higher dose of T then.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-11-18 12:20 am
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T Update

I've been back on T (1.25 g 1% gel) for almost two months now and have nothing to report.  I haven't gotten any new changes and am still crazy as ever.  I'm posting because I switched from raloxifene to anastrozole two weeks ago, after two months on raloxifene.  It wasn't really doing the trick (I was still having cycles, after over two years on low-dose T) so my super-awesome doctor switched me to an aromatase inhibitor.  I started feeling better almost immediately.  I think it was the mania I got when I started and restarted T in the past, before I was taking any psych meds.  It only lasted a few days this time, instead of the few weeks when I started and restarted T before.

I also just got back my blood test results from when I was on raloxifene.  (The pre-raloxifene test results were apparently lost in some system and even my doctor never got them.  WTF?)  Anyway, as of two-ish weeks ago, my total T was at 228 ng/dL and my free T was at 18.5 pg/mL.  Those numbers are both fine by me even though they're below the normal male range.  The raloxifene apparently was doing its job; my estradiol was at 24 pg/mL, safely within the male range, but somehow my ovaries just made do.  /-:  That's what I remember from when I started T, that I had basically no estrogen or testosterone in me but somehow still had cycles.  There were some other numbers I wasn't sure how to interpret.  My dihydrotestosterone was at 55 ng/dL and my estrone was at 34 ng/dL, both squarely within the male range.  Everyting was fine on the other tests, but I'm worried about what I'm going to have to pay for all this. . .

I also just switched to generic gel from AndroGel last week and it was an ordeal I'll record here in case anyone on the Internet ever finds it useful or something.  My doctor wrote a prescription for the brand name gel.  The pharmacy was happy to give it to me, but my insurance wouldn't cover it so it was stupidly expensive.  I had a week's worth left at home so decided to fight it because I didn't have $500 to drop on one prescription.  The pharmacy didn't stock the generic and wouldn't order it unless my doctor rewrote the prescription for the generic.  So I had my doctor do that (which involved me making a trip to their office to pick up the piece of paper, because T is still a controlled substance for which faxed/phone prescriptions cannot be accepted) and the pharmacy ordered the generic.  When I went to pick up my meds, they said it would be $200 because my insurance had denied the claim.  I contacted the insurance and they said it wasn't covered because one bottle of gel was a 60 day supply at my dose and they only cover a 30 day supply, even if it only comes in one size.  WTF?!  They covered a 10 mL vial of T when I was on injections, and that would have been almost a year's supply at my dose!  So they were just fucking with me.  I had to ask my doctor fax them documentation saying I really did need it and they agreed to cover it but charged me the copay for a brand name instead of for the generic.  I was sick of fighting and had already run out of T at this point (I had to use packets for a couple days, estimating my dose by eye) so just paid the extra $15.  At least I won't have to do it again for another two months.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-10-05 03:39 pm

T Update

I was off T a grand total of about ten weeks before I saw a super-competent trans activist NP and went back on ultra-low dose gel teamed up with raloxifene, an E blocker, on 21 September.  It's only been a couple weeks, and I haven't noticed any changes or side-effects, not even the mania I got every time I started or re-started T, possibly because my other meds have changed up a bit, too.

Okay, that's not quite true; there was the one day when I forgot my T but remembered the E blocker, and I had what I think might have been a minor hot flash.  I was out in the cold wearing a hoody and windbreaker, and suddenly I had to unzip the windbreaker and wished I could unzip the pullover hoody.  By the time I got home fifteen minutes later I felt fine, but that's my best guess at what happened.  I will definitely try to be more careful about remembering my T now that it's an every day thing again.  Once I get stable with it I'm going to investigate other delivery methods so I can maybe be lazy with memory again.

I'm finding it hard to get back into the routine of being on gel again.  I apply it in the morning but have been showering around dinnertime/when I get home from work so I can sleep without clothes without exposing my partner to it.  My hair has been derp-tastic at work because of this, but I just can't talk myself into showering twice a day.  I've been having really bad dysphoria since I made my last medical transition update post and can't shower unless I turn the lights off and play really loud, complicated/engaging music.  Showering is definitely the low point of my day.

Speaking of medical transition updates, there will be no more top surgery updates.  Dear posterity, I apologize, but I just can't.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-07-20 11:37 pm
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T update: 21 days off T

Today is the twenty first day since my last scheduled injection, which was canceled because I discontinued T for top surgery.  I got the okay from my surgeon to restart five days after surgery, which would have been one week after the missed dose.  But, I didn't.  And I haven't had a major breakdown before the twenty day mark like I did the last two times I stopped T.  I sorta think I'll start T again, but right now I don't feel like I need it.  I especially don't need it while I'm still spending most of my time alone at home. . . with the internet. . . because I'm not supposed to get my heart rate up.  When I have found myself. . . irresistable, I experienced worsened pain in my chest (probably from swelling, bane of my existence), so I think there's a good reason for me to do whatever I can to avoid any sexual activity for a few more weeks.  I haven't decided if I'm going to continue with injections or go back on gel, since I still have most of a bottle of AndroGel 1%.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-06-30 07:01 pm
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Overmorrow

This post is embarrassingly doubly backdated.  This first part is from last Monday, 6/22.

yesterday )

I started writing this yesterday, 6/29, but had friends over to distract me from my worrying so didn't finish until today.

thoughts )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-06-08 08:00 pm

Another outdated post

I failed to actually post this last week when I should have, but here it is anyway.

boring )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-06-02 06:47 pm

Beep boop

And I meant to post this one yesterday but fell asleep before finishing it. . .

things )
aidenonymous: (sulu)
2015-05-07 10:05 pm
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T update: two years

Well, this is a very special day indeed!  Two years ago today, I administered my first dose of T.  It wasn't a decision I found easy, and I can't say I haven't looked back since, but it's been a lifesaving experience for me, and I don't see myself discontinuing it any time soon.  I've more or less been on what I'm going to call an ultra-low dose, aside from a brief period when I was on a just plain low dose.  Because there's still not a huge amount of information available for non-binary DFAB people considering low-dose T, I'm going to write a veritable novel in hopes that it will help someone else, especially if I get lazy about updating like I have for the past year.

overview )

Since I haven't updated in a while, I thought I'd comment on some recent changes.

details under the cut )

At risk of beating a dead horse, I considered recapping the changes I've gotten over the past two years.  I'm a little worried that in a few more years, I won't remember how things were pre-T, but perhaps I've already forgotten.  Anyone who's interested in the details will have to read through my tagged posts.  To the general reader I've never met, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about non-binary medical transition or just want to connect with a kindred spirit.
aidenonymous: (gender)
2015-04-07 04:18 pm
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T Update

This long-overdue update pertains to July 2014 through January 2015, during which time I was on 1.25 g Androgel 1.62% daily.  I stopped taking T for a few weeks starting at the end of January and restarted on my previous dose of 1.25 g Androgel 1% daily in mid-February.
details under the cut )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2014-10-21 07:58 pm
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T Update

It occurred to me that it's been 12 weeks since I upped my dose because I burned through my second bottle of 1.62% gel.  I have one more in my stockpile and don't know what happens when that runs out.

details )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2014-09-09 12:37 am
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T Update

I haven't done one of these in a while, three weeks apparently, which makes me some 15-16 months total on T and six weeks on the higher dose.  Well, sort of, because I've been going back and forth a bunch with the lower dose.  When I have feelings about my chest, I tend to give myself a dose of 1% gel; when I have feelings about passing, I tend to give myself a dose of 1.62% gel.  I've been about 20/80 on this for the past three weeks.

Change is subtle (also NSFW). )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2014-08-19 02:15 pm
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T Update

I'm sort of rebooting updates since upping my dose from 1.25 g AndroGel 1% daily to 1.25 g AndroGel 1.62% daily.  I should have made one last week but was preparing to move and got sidetracked.  Without further ado:

Thar be TMI behind this cut! )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2014-08-05 08:00 pm
Entry tags:

T Update

It's been about 15 months since I started T, so I've got about 14 months' worth of T in me so far.  I stopped updating a couple months ago because I had nothing to report besides more hairs on my inner thighs, a little extra upper body muscle, and longer vellous hairs on my chin.

A week ago, I increased my dose from 12.5 mg daily to 20.25 mg daily.  It became clear about six months ago that my dose was simply too low to shut down my ovaries , which I could deal with aside from the cyclic mood swings I developed on T that I never had before; I was otherwise very happy with the lower dose.  Finally, with some encouragement from [livejournal.com profile] freakygems, I decided that had gone on long enough and I was ready to try something different.  My endo did not think switching to injections of an equivalent dose would make a difference and wanted me to simply double my original dose of one 1.25 g pump of AndroGel 1% by increasing to two pumps instead.  I was hesitant because I was so satisfied with the rate of changes on the lower dose and wanted to increase by as little as possible, knowing it might not actually solve the problem but would reduce the risk of accelerating physical changes.  I'd looked up that my insurance would cover AndroGel 1.62%, which also has metered doses of 1.25 g, so I could up my dose by 62% rather than 100%.  I persuaded my doctor to give me the script -- she was resistant because the difference between 20.25 mg and 25 mg seemed really silly to her.  When I went to fill it, I even got a call from the pharmacy with them suggesting I just get another box of AndroGel 1% with the directions adjusted to the doubled dose,

I waited a long time to actually fill the prescription.  In the mean time, I did try doubling my previous dose as initially directed, but each time I suffered from headaches and went back to my old dose.  When I tried the higher concentration gel, I didn't have any problems.  After gathering some clues from the prescribing information, I concluded that the new formula may be absorbed more gradually than the old one, and I hypothesize that this caused the headaches, as opposed to there being some coincidental threshold between 20.25 mg and 25 mg that my body is magically sensitive to.  However I have no way to know and am not a doctor or anything remotely close to one.  In any case, the biggest difference I noticed with the new gel is that it dries faster than the lower concentration.

So, I've been using one 1.25 g pump of AndroGel 1.62% daily for a week now.  For the record, this is still a low dose, less than half what my endo usually starts trans men on, which is what she calls "low dose" for those who request it.

I have to admit I can't really tell the difference.  I think my voice is dropping again, but based on a week of recordings, it's totally inconclusive.  I've been a little manic, both in mood/behavior and with regards to insomnia, but it's not as significant as when I was going from no T up to 12.5 mg.  I've also been having a really hard time staying hydrated, and the weather has actually been less dry and hot, so I'm pretty sure that is the T.  I cut out soda and beer to make it easier to stay hydrated, but I was only drinking about 6 ounces of one or the other on a given day, so it hasn't made much of a difference.  The only other changes I've noticed is that my acne is worse on my shoulders and jaw line, but that could be cyclic anyway; I won't be able to draw a conclusion on whether this experiment was successful for another couple weeks.  Another thing I've noticed is being even more calm/mellow/slow to anger than before, something I noticed when I first started T and was not expecting to change further. 
aidenonymous: (gender)
2014-06-01 11:15 pm
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T update: twelve months

For reference, months eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. It's taken a bit more than a year, but I've officially gotten a year's worth of T changes.  I'd like to write a year-in-review post but don't have time now, so this one will just be about what's happened in the last month, sorry.  And it's especially short at that because I'm too busy to write more.  /-:

cut out of habit )
aidenonymous: (gender)
2014-05-01 09:33 pm
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