Tuesday, April 7, 2015

4-7-2015 Entry: HRT Update, Going on 7 Weeks


Hello all! I’m returning again because I promised an update on how the HRT is going and what changes have occurred in recent history. I know I haven’t posted any pictures in a few weeks but that’s because by time I get home from work I’m so tired and disheveled-looking that I do not feel at all like taking a picture. The weekends would provide an ideal time to pretty up for a photoshoot, but again, with all the packing and chores that have been going on I look even more tragic than during the week. I do want to post some new pictures soon though, because I believe I’m beginning to see some changes in my face. My features are beginning to soften some and sometimes when I look in the mirror and see those changes coupled with the ever-growing hair, I can really see how I will eventually look as a female and I don’t think I’m alone. The frequency with which I’ve been getting the “is that a boy or a girl?” look has increased dramatically, going from basically never happening to at least two or three times a week. I have even had a waitress mistake me for a female when she first came to our table before she eventually corrected herself (which was a bit annoying, but I digress). It probably helped that I was wearing makeup and was surrounded by 4 other women, but the fact that she thought I was a girl, even for a brief moment just made my heart sing.

 It is really quite amazing how much emotion can be felt by something so simple. It’s like I’m being seen for me for the very first time. Even though she eventually corrected herself and apologized for her mistake, there were a few seconds where I finally got to exist in the world as I’ve known myself to be on the inside for so long. I sincerely hope that this trend continues to grow more and more, because I really am so excited to start my life as Emma the female. I’m eager for the hormones keep changing my face to look increasingly female, for my hair to keep growing until it’s long and flowing, and I hope the extreme aching in my chest area means I’ll at least have some decent breast development I really don’t want to have to go get implants, because I have rather intense reservations about plastic surgery of any kind.

So, setting the reflection and social aspects aside, let’s talk about the HRT directly. I went to the doctor last Tuesday and she seemed pleased with the way things were going for me. There are some minor concerns about my body’s reaction to the Estriadol patches (itching, rashes, etc.) but unless they become too problematic we are going to continue as we have before. She did double my doses on both Spiro and Estriadol, which has been rather interesting. As far as I understood from what she said, this will essentially be my permanent dose of estrogen and anti-androgens throughout the rest of transition, but we will have to see. She wants me to come back in a month to do some more blood tests to see where my levels are, and if they are in the green then I will start to see her less often (3 months, and then 6 months).

I did get an opportunity to ask some questions about the patch and dose levels that I believe I mentioned here in a previous post. The patch I’m on is .1Mcg (now I wear 2, so .2Mcg) per day, which you might recognize is much lower than the pill or shot form (those are more like 3Mcg to 5 Mcg), but it turns out the dosing is very different when using the patch. As it was explained to me, the .1Mcg I’m getting from a single patch is being released approximately 24 times a day (every hour or so) so in reality, I was getting about 2.4Mcg per day, not .1Mcg (not sure why they label it that way, but I digress). That means that I am now around 4.8Mcg a day worth of estrogen, which I believe is around the max dose they generally give transitioning MtF’s. It was explained to me that the estrogen patch works differently, and evidently more safely, than the pill or shot form because it’s a constant small amount that goes directly into the blood stream as opposed to a large amount being processed by the liver and stomach (which is much harder on the body and has an increased chance of causing stroke/heart attack). So, if you are considering going on HRT you will hopefully have a greater understanding of the patch systems to consider as you make a decision about what delivery method you want to sign up for. I find the patch easy enough, although the patches do have a tendency to itch from time to time, and usually leave adhesive residue that’s rather difficult to get off. I’ve found that alternating between my left and right side reduces the irritation of the skin, but then you have little rectangles of adhesive residue on both sides, so… just FYI.

As for the Spironolactone, I am now on 200mg a day (2 pills in the morning, 2 at night) and I can’t say I’m excited about that. Spiro has a tendency to not only make me tired/lethargic, but can also be a bit of a depressant. I’m hopeful that I will one day be able to drop the dosage back to 100mg, because I can take that once a day (at night) and feel just fine. Unless I’m mistaken, once I have SRS (which I have no idea when that would be) I won’t have to take the Spiro anymore, so that’s comforting at least.

Overall, the doubling of my meds has resulted in some rather painful aching in all the sensitive areas. Forgive me if this is TMI, but I want to document this transition as best as I can, so try not to cringe too much. My soon-to-be breasts ache like crazy, even more than they did when I first went onto Estrogen. My nipples are so sensitive that even an unfriendly wind or an accidental grazing by one of my arms is enough to make me want to cry. I would be worried that this was a bad thing but the doctor warned me that things were going to be increasingly sensitive/aching. Also, with the increase in spiro, the man parts are really unhappy too. Again, the boys downstairs just ache and ache, and I’m fairly sure my prostate isn’t pleased with me either as there are occasional shooting pains in that region. All in all I’m discovering just how uncomfortable and painful this physical transition really can be. I know most of it is temporary as my body undergoes the changes of a, more-or-less, second puberty, but that doesn’t make the discomfort feel any better. Okay, that’s enough TMI time for one post.

Moving on, we close on our house in about 48 hours, so I’m not sure when my next entry will be as we will be spending a good deal of time both painting and moving over the coming days/weekend.  I’m very excited to finally be so close to done with this damned house buying process and will likely post pictures of our house. Well, that’s all I have for now. Thanks for checking in and much love to you all!

 

-Emma

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