Yesterday was one of the days I was scheduled to change my synthetic Estrogen patches. Every now and then I pause to remember all the changes I have gone through over the years.
I usually hesitate to write about the HRT process because hormone replacement therapy is such a unique topic. In other words, it can vary so much between individuals. Age, dosage and current physical condition all factor in. HRT is certainly not for everyone and should not be undertaken without the help of a medical professional. As I set my usual disclaimer aside, it's time to describe my own personal hormonal gender journey for those of you who may be considering it.
At the very beginning, I can only describe myself as a very serious cross dresser. I normally tried to sooth my extreme gender dysphoria by dressing as a woman two or even three times a week. Through all of it deep down I knew living with feet in both of the binary genders was never going to be a long term solution to my gender questions .I also knew adding synthetic estrogen to my body was going to be my next logical step towards rebuilding my life as a novice transgender woman.
Before I did I had to be checked out by a family doctor who I heard of through the grapevine. He was a LGBT friendly physician in the Dayton, Ohio area. By this time, my wife had passed away and I was free to take what gender action I wanted to transition or not. Of course you know that I did and the appointment was made.
|Photo Courtesy: During my CD days|
The doctor's visit itself was very straight forward and simple. He asked me if I knew my breasts would grow along with my hair and my sex drive would for the most part go away. When I accepted all those possibilities, he wrote me the magical prescription I had long dreamed of. The meds were pills with synthetic estrogen along with a med which would decrease my testosterone. By mutual agreement, we decided to begin my HRT on a very minimum dosage to determine how my body would react. Happily, I had no adverse reactions and was given a slightly higher dosage. All in all, I was still impatient for all the feminizing changes I was expecting. I could feel my breasts starting to change and I never had a problem growing hair, so I wanted more.
More would come. This time compliments of the Veteran's Administration. At this time, I was experiencing severe financial problems and had lost my regular health insurance. I desperately needed the health care the VA offered. For the most part, free to me for my service in the military. To continue my hormone replacement therapy with the VA, I had to go back through the process of seeing a doctor, including a therapist. I was fortunate in that the therapist who was assigned to me had a basis of knowledge of transgender and/or gender dysphoric individuals. She promptly wrote me a letter of acceptance and it was up to me to do the rest.
I did have a bump in the road when the VA hospital I was a patient of did not have an endocrinologist to monitor my meds. It took awhile but I finally received approval to see an Endo doc outside of the Va which they would pay for. Once I got used to seeing him, I was able to move back into the VA system for monitoring until I was diagnosed with a liver problem and again was taken off my hormones.
The liver problem was conquered and I was allowed to resume my HRT. The good news was I was able to increase my dosages and change to patches to save extra wear and tear on my liver.
The increased dosage began the changes I had longed hope for. My face began to soften along with my skin. Body hair started to thin (except for my beard) and my breasts really started to grow. All of those changes couldn't compare with my inner changes. I will never forget my first hot flash when I was sitting in a sports bar sipping on a beer. I was sure I was going to internally combust! Then, there were the tears. During my male life, I rarely, if at all ever cried. Now I can cry over bad and good things. What a change.
As I look back, I still consider hormone replacement therapy was the second of several major gender transitions I went through. Just when I thought there were only two transitions, I found myself going through another.
More on that later in another post.