Showing posts with label testosterone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label testosterone. Show all posts

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.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Big Girl

"Big Girl" Picture by the Ohio River
I have always written about going out when MtF transition to places most likely to make you feel uncomfortable. For example, having to go to an auto parts store rather than a dress shop. Most certainly, the dress shop would be more fun but sometimes the auto parts store is the necessity.

So far, in my relatively short transgender life, I think the most macho place I found myself in was a junk yard with Liz, trying to get a used mirror for our car. It was difficult to dress to blend for a junk yard. But, the fact remains, if you are going to attempt to live a feminine lifestyle, there are going to be times when the "sugar and spice and everything nice" stereotype is not going to cut it.

Sunday, quite by accident, I found myself all so briefly in one of those testosterone macho situations.

Liz and I went to one of the big hardware box stores to look for and have lumber cut for her martial arts class. I didn't think much of it because there are always quite a few women in these stores and it is difficult to find someone to  help you, even if you want to.

Yesterday, to save time and extra steps, we decided to use the contractors entrance nearest to where the lumber is sold. As we came through the sliding doors, I found myself surrounded by a group of men checking out with their construction purchases. I had no choice but to hold my head up high and walk through them.

As I did, I heard a couple of them talking about the "big girl." I thought to myself, I will take it because I am a "big girl." Of course I didn't hear what they said after that. Which was probably a good thing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo Potty Ads

Back in the day, there was a decal of some sort which fit on the back of your potty lid of a wonderfully derelict old man with a bib, knife and fork staring down into the toilet-presumably waiting for a meal.  I am not talking about that guy.

What I am talking about is the picture of an ad I saw in a women's restroom of a busy sports bar Saturday night.  Excuse the quality because I was trying to go and get out.  The subject matter is women and their testosterone.  Look, I know both human binary sexes need "T", I had just never seen the "cure" advertised for women like that.


Maybe the "side effects" are in the "fine print" we don't see? Something like when you begin to start to shave your mustache every morning, develop a lower voice than your hubby and bigger bi-ceps. Discontinue use?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I Never Met a Toilet I Didn't Like.

If my mind serves me correct (or at all) I have passed along the fact here in Cyrsti's Condo that I was actually taking a half of the dosage prescribed to me of "Spiro" by my endocrinologist.  Spiro is designed for several uses and one of it's by-products is lowering a guys testosterone.

Of course, the idea of "how low can I go" in the "T" department caught my interest.  BUT-let me say over and over again, I am under a doc's supervision- actually two.

Spiro is also designed to lower your blood pressure by getting rid of fluids in your body and I thought I peed a lot before!!  Now I can almost set my clock and my itinerary to finding the nearest restroom.

Perhaps you are wondering, just where has all this medication taken me?  Well, I was too.

I'm always humored by the decreasing number of "Low-T" commercials for men I hear on the radio around here.  After a couple of men who didn't have Low T began to add extra to their bodies and died-now I'm hearing the lawyers commercials wanting to take their lawsuits.

Age# SubjectsTotal
Test.
Stand.
Dev.
Free
Test.
Stand.
Dev.
SHBGStand.
Dev.
25-344561717012.32.835.58.8
35-442266821210.31.240.17.9
45-54236062139.12.244.68.2
55-64435621958.32.145.58.8
65-74475241976.92.348.714.2
75-84484711696.02.351.022.7
85-100213761345.42.365.922.8

I'm passing along this chart I found which illustrates the natural decline of "T" as a man ages.  Please be aware I'm notoriously bad at reading charts and won't be a medical person in my life, but it "seems" at my age, I should be at around a 500 T level.

If I attempt to refer this chart to my latest VA blood tests, I can see how much lower my "low T" has become.  In fact, if I'm reading it right, I'm in the sub 100 range.
Before I increased my dosage!

Good news-bad news kids.  Of course the good news are the bodily changes which continue to amaze me. I'm literally euphoric.

The bad news (you know there always is some) is, if you have heard any of the dire prophesies about "low T"-no energy, strength, sex drive etc.  Are all true with me.  Don't pass me the pickle jar to open!  That's as about as bad as calling me sir! Just can't do it!

I'm writing this from an informational viewpoint.  It's written for any of you who are considering HRT.  I know I had a huge amount of questions-many of which went unanswered. On the other hand, those of you who have gone down this path will most likely have your own information to share.

It's such as personal topic with so many twists and turns!  If you have experiences you want to share, by all means send them to me here!

In the meantime, excuse me-have to go potty!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Deja Vu

By definition in English, the term Deja Vu is French, and literally means "already seen". Or is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.

On occasion over the years, I have wondered if any of the occasions when being feminine was so natural meant I had lived them in another life?  The "past life" theory is one of those ideas I put in my ghosts or aliens category of I don't believe- or non believe.

These days, as I transition ever further into a feminine existence, I have a tendency to toss the feeling of Deja Vu into the category of syncing an over abundance of estrogen in the womb to my HRT meds today.  The process of day to day influences just seem more normal. Not because I lived them before, it's because I feel normal living them now.

To put it into other words which you peeps from the 60's might equate to - through most of my life "I got stoned and missed it." Except in this case, I got "T"'d and missed it with my natural excess of testosterone.

Just an idea!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Morning Coming Down

Well, actually it is coming up if I could see it through all the gray clouds here in O-H-I-O. (Hell yes the Buckeyes play football today.)

In the meantime, there is tidying up to do here in Cyrsti's Condo.  There are more Halloween posts to write, some beauty tips to pass along and info on yesterday's visit to the endocrinologist. Plus, as you all know my old dog hinges her very existence on a daily walk. One look with those big brown puppy eyes and I'm melting, getting her leash and heading for the door. She figures it took years to properly train the human.

The "Doc" and his resident sidekick visit went well. I'm very sure I break the "monotony" of a resident's (doc in training) day following around the Doc.  How many transgender patients has he ever seen? Although yesterday I knew one other for sure as a transgender girl friend of mine had an appointment just before mine. I talked to her just for a bit and found out we both were diagnosed with high levels of estrogen. I cut a deal to back off from 6 Mg a day to 5 Mg but up my dosage of Spiro by 30%. Spiro cuts back on my testosterone for those who may not know. Other than that he read my blood work and figured I would live a couple more days.

 Purple MoHair Scarf by "LizT"
The beauty tips come essentially from idea's I on saw of Pinterest.  If you are not familiar with Pinterest, you can find essentially "Pins" of any subject under the sun, including fashion and yes, even cross dressers and transgender women. (We are everywhere!)

One of the fashion accessories I love are scarves.  A great scarf can add color or class to a drab outfit to be sure and I like them too because of how they look on a person of my height if I let them just drape over my shoulders and down my body. On the other hand, I can't tie them and make loops around my neck because I'm already too thick there and don't need the extra bulk. My girlfriend operates an Etsy shop called "LizTDesigns" and hand knits her own scarfs. (More hand eye coordination than I will ever have!) So if you have any sort of basic black or gray jacket you are pulling out for cooler weather, don't forget a scarf!

Finally, yes we do have more Halloween experiences coming up as the "bewitching" day approaches all too quickly. Even my lazy, non mouse catching black cat thinks it's her day!





 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

OMG! Low "E" in Men?

I believe one of the fasted growing "feel good" medical fields is the treatment of low "T" (testosterone) in men. Everyday on any given number of radio stations I listen to, I hear the plea to "get your number checked" - your "T" number.  Similar to genetic women in the menopause years it seems men lose their "T" along with their virility.

I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo about secretly desiring to have my "T" checked and when the number comes back as very low, start celebrating and run out of the office.

It turns out now, the same insecurities men carry about being effeminate may come back to haunt them again. Read this from the Associated Press:

"TV ads tout testosterone treatments for "low T," but surprising new research shows a different hormone may play a role in less sex drive and more fat as men age. Estrogen — the female hormone — is needed by men, too, and the study gives the first clear evidence that too little of it can cause certain "male menopause" symptoms."

Can you imagine sitting in the "T" clinic and getting your scripts to be all manly and virile again and as you are leaving someone calmly also gives you a script for estrogen?

Is there a conflict of interest there?  Me thinks the idea will not be discussed with the boys over beer and wings. Yep, the same ones who are afraid of the "side effects" of developing breasts when their wife offers them a Midol for pain.

Just a thought!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My "Boy Friend" Jeans

For the first time this morning I actually felt a pair of my old guy jeans navigating over my hips when I put them on!

Nearly  16 months ago, my first prescribing doctor told me with the HRT dosages I was on it would take at least year to see weight distribution in my hip area. I have indeed thought the process was happening but had never felt it until today.
Of course my cynical mind went to work and I thought "well here I am in my own boyfriend jeans and he was me."

On a deeper level of course I'm finally to a point as a transgender woman when my new feminine curves are starting to fill out all of my clothes- male or female the right way.

Of course I still have a long way to go but I decided to step back and look a little closer at my progress.

Here's an example:  I have always told you all I'm not a frilly girl and I sleep in some of my favorite ex large long t shirts.  For once I paused to take a look at the progress I have made- in just the T-shirt and I was scared. The shirt came down to a couple inches on my thighs and of course about three quarters of the way down my arms...A good test.

First of all, I am my own worst critic and nothing is good enough.  I have to say as I tried to be unbiased, the person looking back at me in the mirror looked fairly feminine. I thought Wow,  this HRT project is coming along how the "experts" told me it would.

My hair on my head grew and got fuller as predicted. My breasts have developed close to a small "B" and the hair on my body has nearly disappeared (except my beard of course -dammit). Finally,  my skin grew rapidly smoother from head to toe. Now the weight distribution has been just some more icing on the cake. All I could think was "Wow! this is very cool!". But I better not eat any of the icing!

The "I told you so expert" I referred to was my endocrinologist. On my last visit after my blood tests he said "Well your estrogen is up nicely and your "t" is very low. We should stay the course on the HRT we are doing now and let the estrogen win the battle for your body." None of us should ever forget messing with your body's hormones on HRT is not without risks. So I am happy to have an "expert" in my corner- even though I'm impatient for more changes.

In the meantime my estrogen is winning battles when I wasn't looking and now I'm waiting for her to win the war!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Just Thinking

In my part of the world it seems the latest fad or trend seems to be testosterone shops.  The commercials on the radio stations I listen to scream every third man over 40 has "low T". I think really? Some of us love it! If I had the extra cash, it would be fun to get my "T" tested. When they tell me how low mine is-  scream YAY!!!! and run out the door.

These next thoughts are just a mini rant which have nothing to do with the transgender world at all.
Back in the day, elderly critters motoring around could be identified by a huge vintage Cadillac or some sort of smaller economy car. Today though they are motoring around at 20 mph behind the wheels of big 4 wheel drive pick up trucks or SUV's? Really? If they were driving that slow and not using turn signals in a blinding snow storm I could understand. But on a sunny day, slowing down a block in advance to figure out which gas station line to pull into is a bit much.
The worst part?  I'm trying to figure out which 4 wheel drive monster I'm buying to clog the streets. I need to plan ahead to those fast approaching days.

Don't worry though,  I will turn my hearing aid down so I won't hear your horn or profanity as you drive by!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Damn I'm Confused!

This morning I decided (for once) to get ahead of the game and go to my VA clinic for my required hormone level blood tests.
Just to confuse you, going to my local VA clinic is not going to the closest center where I have to go most of the time. It's much smaller , normally has one busy check in person and about 20 seats or so. You can't get lost in a crowd there!
Of course you need an ID to check in and at this point of my transition I still have a very male VA identification card. This morning I simply tied my hair back in a pony tail and went in.
I was fairly certain I would not have to answer any potentially embarrassing questions about why was I getting an estrogen as well as an testosterone test done. I was totally relaxed as I waited in line to get checked in until the receptionist glanced up and said "can I help you Mam?". Then he looked at my I.D and started with Mam I'm sorry Sir. Well I went from relaxed, to amused to elated!
Then it was time to "hurry up and wait" which is something all you veterans knew our military was famous for.
The remainder of the visit was surprisingly routine. The last time I did it, the process was a little tricky because I was getting blood work requested by a non Veterans Administration Doctor. Today, nobody said a word and I didn't have to say the transgender word once. Furthermore,  they are even letting me "hand carry" my results to my "endo-doctor". (Never trust a doctor to doctor fax machine!)
My reasoning is either the clinic workers know I'm the token transgender patient or my outside doc has been approved by the VA.
Whatever it was, hopefully today was a good sign for the future!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tears and the Transgender Girl

Another of my "trifecta" of hormonal results involves tears and the trans girl.
Of course men crying is rejected as weakness- except in times of extreme duress and that was me.

Now I discover I feel deeper senses of joy or melancholy but certainly haven't bought into the fallacy that women are the weaker gender. Ironically, crying still isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of feeling. Memories, friends and world are suddenly closer to my emotions.

I still can't say I'm reduced to huge bouts of sobbing but then again I know several genetic women who aren't either. I can say though I have cried more in the last eight or ten months than the last last 50 years.
As in so many things in this transition process, I didn't set off to do a scientific experiment or to add relevance to my feminine inner self. It just happened.

Taking all of this a step further, I recently received an email from a person considering beginning HRT at the age of 60. The worry was the effects would be lessened at an older age. At the age of 63, I believe my hormonal effects have been nothing short of wonderful. Especially considering the minimal dosages I have been on for 6 of 11 months. The deepened senses of joy and melancholy are emotions I would have missed if I didn't start the hormones,
Of course in my decidedly non medical opinion, age brings on a natural HRT anyhow.  Certainly I have less testosterone in my body now that when I was 25. Another post for another day!

I'm sure those of you who stop by Cyrsti's Condo who have experienced much more transition than I may agree much of the process sort of sneaks up on you. You hope the changes are coming and sometimes they may involve a few tears. But as an genetic woman will tell you tears are just another part of the gender and not necessarily a disaster.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Did I know I was Taking Estrogen?

My question of the day came from a pharmacist in what I call my "back up pharmacy".
The majority of my prescriptions I get filled through the mail from the VA.  I pay a co-pay with the VA and my generic estrogen is the same price either place but I get bonus points at my back up place I can use for discounted gas.
This is not the first time I had a prescription for Estro filled at this place so I was surprised when the pharmacist went out of her way to tell me I was ordering estrogen. She quickly added that was OK they had women who come in and order testosterone. (Nothing about transgender.)
By this time I really didn't care about the extra info and I understood a pharmacist's obligation to follow up on what they are prescribing. I did wonder about her having some sort of discretion of bringing it up to me. Fortunately there was no one around me at all except the girl who was ringing me out...but there could have been.
Seemingly, nothing is ever easy and yes I could lodge a complaint with the company but I get so tired of complaining every step of the way.
From the endocrinologist questioning the VA paying for my treatment at all to the pharmacist asking me if I knew I was taking estrogen; I'm fairly certain this is a look at how my life just will be at times. Better hitch up my big girl panties and get used to it.