Showing posts with label medicine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medicine. Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Transgender Health Care

 Another potential problem we face as transgender women and men is finding and using quality health care. I read too many experiences from trans women in particular I know who ran into  problems with doctors. Specifically, the docs were dragging their feet with treating transgender issues such as hormones.

Fortunately,  we have a relatively larger medical entity in our area which is dedicated to helping transgender patients with their health care. They are doing a wonderful job helping those in need with their health care.

As most of you may know, I am a trans veteran who receives health care through the Veteran's Administration system. Years ago during a time of great need I needed to take advantage of nearly free benefits which were available. It turned out to be one of the better choices I had ever made in my life. It was so long ago, I was still in a state of shock over my wife's death and was even way before I embarked on my hormone replacement therapy. My therapist at the time (and still is) was instrumental in helping me start HRT. 

National Cancer Institute from Unsplash 

Back in the day, as the world was catching up to what a transgender person even was I found myself educating every medical person I encountered at the VA. To be fair, none were really negative with me but just didn't seem to know very much. Plus, during those years the Dayton, Ohio VA was conducting transgender seminars with their staff educating them to our needs. 

The point of this post is tomorrow I get to break in a new primary provider. A primary provider in the VA is the equivalent to a person's family doctor in the civilian world. The only thing I know about her is her gender which I definitely prefer. For some reason I have always felt better seeing female physicians and nurse practitioners. Maybe it goes back years ago to the one male doctor I had who always wanted to see my breasts as an "educational" exercise to the residents following him around. Whatever his intentions were, since that time I have always liked female medical people better. 

Looking forward to tomorrow, I don't see any potential problems coming up. In fact, now I can have my endocrinologist blood work done at the VA clinic closest to where I live and not have to drive nearly an hour north to have them done. To be fair, it was my fault because I wanted to keep the Endo doc I had in Dayton and not transfer everything to Cincinnati. Now though, the VA computers have caught up to extent where Dayton can read Cincinnati results. So my blood work tomorrow will be checking my all important estrogen (estradiol) and testosterone levels.

I hope no matter where you are you have been able to locate and take advantage of quality transgender health care. If you can't, my suggestion would be to contact your local LGBTQ center for available resources. I know too not all VA centers are created equal and hopefully your overall experience has been as positive as mine. 

All of us deserve quality transgender health care to help us down our journeys to our authentic selves. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

I'm Such a Boob

One topic I don't write about much is hormone replacement therapy (HRT.)  I don't cover it much because of a couple reasons.

First and foremost, I know for medical reasons many transgender women can't take on HRT. Secondly,I also know , many trans folk attempt the dangerous route of attempting to do the whole process without securing medical professional help. Doing that just opens yourself up to many very terrible health issues. Finally, I am always paranoid about giving any indication of me putting myself up on a "transer than thou" pedestal.

Now my warnings are behind us and we can get to the real reason for this post.

You may recall, approximately three months ago, I was able to increase my dosage of estrodial by half after many medical tests. Now I am beginning to feel changes again in my body. Of course what most want to know, does that mean bigger breasts. In my case yes it did, plus I was able to add more volume to my thighs too.

Now, keep in mind, I have been on HRT for over six years, with time off for medical reasons. Plus I spent at least the first six months on a very minimum dosage. I started that way to see how my body reacted to the hormonal changes.

I know too, quite a few individuals who have just started (or are considering starting) HRT for the first time want to know what to expect. Again, I don't write about it much because the results vary so much depending on the age and dosage of the recipient.

In my case, it wasn't very long before I began to feel sensations in my breasts, hot flashes and emotional changes. Then I went years before I went through any other definite changes until I was allowed to increase my dosage. To put it into perspective, my breasts became easily noticeable but not really large enough in my mind to wear a restrictive bra. Now, as summer approaches and hopefully restrictions from the virus lift, if I wear any sort of tight tank top I will need to wear a bra.

Plus, I have a series of appointments coming up early in April which will hopefully confirm I can stay on my current hormonal course. Most importantly to me is the emotional well being I have achieved on my current HRT dosage.

I just hope I am allowed to maintain it. 

As I wrote this, I thought about other like minded ideas to write about and will continue this post tomorrow.