Showing posts with label hormone therapy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hormone therapy. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Saving my Own Life

Image from Alysha Rosly 
on UnSplash
 
 
I make no secret of my Bi-Polar mental condition which went undiagnosed for a good part of my younger life. 

Ironically, it was my first gender therapist who connected the dots and determined my condition when I told her I often spent days struggling to even get myself out of bed. I just thought I was riding the waves of gender dysphoria  which kept me so depressed or elevated when I was experiencing brief moments of gender euphoria. During this time of my life, I was far from being the easiest person in the world to live with. At the least, I was prescribed medications which evened out my moods. The meds also helped me sort out my gender issues and finally figure out one mental issue had nothing to do with the other. In fact my gender dysphoria was not a mental issue at all but instead an organic one. Had I listened to my therapist, she was trying to tell me all of that but I was unwilling to listen. Primarily because at the point of my life I was in, I was still a novice transgender woman and didn't know if I could live my dream life.  There were still too many gender bridges to cross such as telling family, friends and bosses I was transgender. 

The furthest I had come at that point was telling approximately five close friends and spouses I was a transvestite. A long way from living as a transsexual with all the resultant rules I would seemingly have to follow Such as major gender operations, moving away and then starting all over again. To make matters worse, I hadn't even thought much about my sexuality. Would I suddenly desire men sexually? I was overwhelmed with all the big questions and just continued my life as a very serious cross dresser. At the least, I was able to work on my presentation as a woman and go from there.

Even though, my solution was far from perfect, I was saving my life the only way I knew how. The problem kept reappearing when I started to go out more and more behind my second wife's back. When I did, I fairly quickly began to build up a robust life as a transgender woman. Every step I took, the more natural I felt when I could never see how I could go back to living a male life. The whole process created tremendous pressure on my already fragile mental  health. I became increasingly self destructive, all the way to an unsuccessful, ill advised suicide attempt. Essentially, from the point of suicide, I purged most of my feminine belongings and even grew a beard to prove to my second wife I could do it. By doing so, I was intensely unhappy for the short time she lived until passing away from a massive heart attack. I often wonder what would have happened with us had she lived.

Following the tragedy in my life, over a short period of time, I regathered myself and refocused  on a new feminine life. I quit dwelling on death and began living a preferred life as a transgender woman. By doing so, I was all of a sudden needing to quickly learn more than I ever imagined about my new life. Throwing out or giving away all my male clothes was at once liberating and  on the other hand, very scary. I had never purged my male self my entire life and he resisted. 

Regardless, scary or not, the process of a gender transition saved my life. Over a space in time, my mental health has stabilized and with the help of gender affirming hormones, for the first time in my life, my body and mind are beginning to mesh. The entire process took me a lifetime to figure out but as I always say, it all was so worth it. 


Monday, November 7, 2022

At Least it wasn't Boring

 Looking back at a long transgender life, rather than being a whiney person concerning the experience and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to change directions. Slowly but surely I came to the conclusion my life was actually was fairly entertaining. After all, what would I be doing with all my free time if I wasn't obsessing about being a woman. Even sneaking out of my house cross dressed was a thrill unless I was laughed at. 

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart 

I used to think this time I was in training to be a novice transgender woman could have been better spent obsessing about my work or other hobbies which I was already doing. During this time I was able to secure a really good job in the food industry which helped me to understand more fully what women go through in the work place and the difficulties they faced attempting to balance family and work. 

Also looking back, I would have missed the thrill of learning the first time I could possibly exist in a feminine world and live a life long dream. Then there were the other parties I went to in Columbus, Ohio when I learned I fit in with the transgender women more than the cross dressers. Then, after I figured all of that out, there was the problem of what to do next. I had a good job, family and loving wife to consider. 

If I hadn't decided to go through with my gender transition where would I have been then? Most likely very miserable and lonely after my second wife passed away. I had lost most everything which was dear to me and was experiencing very dark times. As it was, at the first opportunity I chose to seriously consider my feminine inner self as a source of strength. I followed her into another gender world and never looked back. One of the main lessons she taught me was to embrace who I was and try to remember the good times I experienced over the years of learning to be a transgender woman. Not the bad. 

Then there was the catching up time I had to go through to be able to play in the girls sandbox or the time and effort it took to learn to dress like and fully communicate with other women. I equate the process with what genetic females go through when they are socialized as women. It took awhile to shake off old male tendencies so I could grow into the woman I wanted to become. Once I did, I found I could face the world with more confidence than ever before. Plus, the process was sometimes terrifying and far from being boring.

The end result for me being able to live a transgender life was the benefit of being able to experience both sides of the binary genders (male and female.) The knowledge I gained was sometimes painful but so worth it in the end. I know intimately now how testosterone affects a man and how estrogen affects a woman. Priceless knowledge when it comes to never being bored. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Success

Finally my endocrinologist got in touch with me yesterday.  Approximately a week and half ago I did my blood labs to check my hormone levels.

My testosterone levels came back half of what the normal prescribed amount, so that is good if you are a transgender woman. Which of course I am. No real surprise because at my age, my testosterone would be decreasing anyway.

More importantly my estrogen amount was also low enough to be able to increase my dosage of estradiol (estrogen).

Since I passed all my blood clot, heart, lung and colon tests with flying colors, I was approved for an increase in my hormone patches from 1.5 milligrams to 2.0. Now all I am left with wondering how long it will take me to get my new patches.

What I hope will happen is a decrease in my overall body hair again and maybe an increase in my hips. The process started then stopped.

Of course due to my age and VA supervision, I have to be monitored again in about six months. By "monitored" I mean I have to have my blood tests done again to check my estrogen level. Sometimes I am fairly certain I set a record for the number of blood tests taken at the Dayton, Ohio VA.

I am not complaining though. I have been trying to get my Estradiol increased for the past year or so. With the increase, I still will only be at the level of several of the other trans women I know. I also know my endocrinologist is acting out of caution. Again due to my age.

Which I appreciate.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Crossing Christie's Bridge

Under the white hot spot light of a rumored future bid for the United States Presidency, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's true spots are beginning to emerge.

Perhaps you international visitors here in Cyrsti's Condo (no relation) have heard the story of how last summer, the governor's aides basically shut down partial access to one of the busiest bridges in the world supposedly as a political "punishment". As the story broke, Christie broke down (not on the bridge) threw a couple aides under the bus (not on the bridge) and tried to apologize. Turns out the governor's blood is still in the water and the political sharks are circling.

If I lived in New Jersey and was affected by the bridge move, I would be bitter too.  Yet another arrogant move by another politician.  Not much new there. What indirectly does affect me though, is Christie's recent veto of a bill  this week that would have eased the process by which transgender individuals can change the gender markers on their birth certificates.

From the Philadelphia Gay News:

 The proposed legislation, which both chambers of the New Jersey legislature passed last year, would have allowed the state to issue amended birth certificates for individuals who have undergone clinical treatments for a gender transition, including such methods as hormone therapy. Current law requires gender-reassignment surgery for certificates to be changed. In his veto memo, Christie said the bill could provide an opportunity for individuals to commit fraud. He contended that “New Jersey already has an administrative process in place to streamline applications to amend birth certificates for gender purposes without court order. Under the proposal before me, the sponsors seek to alter the amended birth-certificate application process without maintaining appropriate safeguards.” 

Look, I'm no expert concerning the validity of why Christie vetoed the bill but his reason sounded suspiciously similar to the politicians in my city which refuse to offer across the board protections to TGLB citizens...those protections already exist.  When indeed they don't.

At the least, the governor is doing me a favor by marking him off of any candidate I may be interested in.  I'm intently following the Republicans and other third parties such as the American Independent Party, to see if there is any chance of restoring a semblance of a strong two political party system  Looks as if Christie will block the bridge again and he's out.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jersey Girls?

According to The Advocate:

On Thursday, the New Jersey senate passed A4097 (previously labeled S2786) by a vote of 21-11. That affirmative vote now sends the bill to Gov. Chris Christie's desk — putting the fate of thousands of transgender people's legal identification in the hands of the Republican governor. If Christie vetoes the bill, it's unlikely that the legislature could override that decision, since state law stipulates that 27 senate votes and 54 general assembly votes are needed to do so. As it A4097 passed through the legislature, it garnered 21 "aye" votes in the senate, and 43 votes in favor in the general assembly.


As law currently stands, individuals born in New Jersey must prove that they have had some form of gender-confirming surgery before they can update their birth record. These surgeries generally cost tens of thousands of dollars, and often are not covered by health insurance, leaving many transgender individuals either unable or unwilling to undergo this method of treatment. Many trans individuals opt to medically transition solely through hormone replacement therapy. As New Jersey law stands currently, those individuals are not able to update their birth certificate. 

Most federal forms of identification can be updated without proof of surgery. Records with the Social Security Administration, U.S. State Department, and Department of Veterans Affairs can updated without any sort of surgery, instead requiring an affidavit from a medical provider that confirms an individual has received appropriate clinical treatment to transition. The discrepancy between the requirements to update various forms of identification can leave many transgender individuals in an unenviable position, where various forms of identification do not match up, leaving these individuals open to increased scrutiny, suspicion of fraud, and nonconsensually being outed as transgender.

For those of us transgender folk who don't see SRS in our future, any of this news is of importance to us. Plus, if indeed New Jersey Gov Chris Christie is going to try to make a presidential run, this would be an early indication if this Republican is going to attempt to broaden his political base or again keep the Republicans in the political dark ages.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Transgender Vets and the Veteran

Yes I am a transgender vet and yes I have posted nearly every story I can find on the subject.
My experience with the Veterans Administration (VA) has been overall positive but unfortunately other transgender vets (even in my own state of Ohio) have not fared as well. The VA centers seem to operate on their own agendas, perhaps not to the extent of denying directed care for transgender veterans as much as the respect shown in the process.
The latest story I found is a very positive one from CBS in Minneapolis, Minnesota and involves the story of a trans man who served as a woman in the Marines:


"There is a program available at the VA hospital in Minneapolis that’s serving an often hidden population — transgender veterans. Peter Klicker served in the Marines as a woman, Karin Klicker. Years later, the veteran says he’s finally found the help he’s hoped for. Klicker grew up in a house full of older brothers in the ’60s and ’70s. And, one summer, the then 7-year-old Karin convinced a group of guys she was a boy, so she’d be able to play baseball. “When you’re seven, you don’t really think about that foresight,” Klicker said. “My mother made me wear a dress on the first day of school.” Jan James, a nurse practitioner at the medical center, has taken it a step further. As part of her doctorate program, she had to identify an underserved patient group. As part of her plan, the clinic now offers hormone therapy and counseling services to transgender veterans, so they’re not forced to find black-market alternatives. “My mission is not just to identify that group, but to give them a voice within the VA system,” James said.

 Go here for more!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Girls of Summer

I have written in length here in Cyrsti's Condo on my summer experiences on hormones.
Just happened to come across someone who describes the same process so much better than I and decided to pass along her ideas.
Her name is Paris Lee and she writes for the UK GayTimes. Read it here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Transgender Model

Lauren Foster was born in South Africa and is one of the world's most recognized transsexual women, having been one of the first to pose for Vogue Mexico in the 1980's. She began transitioning in her teens and by 17 she was undergoing hormone therapy and living full-time as a female. At the age of 18 she underwent sex reassignment surgery, which was performed by world renowned surgeon Derk Crichton.

Workplace Issues

Image from Gabrielle Henderson  on UnSplash. Sadly, many transgender women and trans men still get discriminated against when they seek out ...