Moving home! 引っ越しする!

Today i’m finally moving out of this tiny, cramped, windowless room and moving into a reasonably large airy room with a double bed and a window with a view to the sea!

Things are a bit crazy, I’m writing this surrounded by boxes and loose items flung around the room, and i’m mid way through cleaning surfaces,  floors, cupboards and sills. Tucked in the corner is my dissertation and module work from the 1/2 inch of desk space i’ve been doing my work on. A “man with a van” is coming at some point, not sure when yet, and hauling this stuff about 5 minutes across town – with me helping (to make it cheaper), so let’s hope I don’t do my back in. It’s a forced move, the landlord wanted the property back, so I had to find another property for only a few months whilst I finish off Uni here. Least the new place looks like an upgrade.

In two months time, no more studying, no more dissertation, just….life. Work. It’s really strange. The job hunt continues, and i’m getting a little bit more edgy to find one every day. A bit concerned that my top surgery revision is going to be around the time that i’m planning on starting a job. But for now, there is nothing I can do about it.

It’s something that is really a pain in the ass with medically transitioning, all these appointments and recovery time don’t sit well with the modern world. These days you can’t take time out and not expect it to impact on your job/work. The only way to lessen the impact is to go slow and time it well, so your not at your worst when you need to be at your best (although cancelled/delayed apps/ops are always a possibility).

I had my bloods taken this week to check my levels now i’m on Nebido. It’s the 8 week mark. And I need to get some more done in 4 weeks for the 3 month mark when I have my shot. I’m hoping everything is going smoothly, i’m so busy I really can’t deal with adjusting stuff. It’s fine. I’m sure.

I have come to the decision to stop posting weekly pictures from the 1 year 6 months on testosterone stage, which is next week, and just start posting a picture once a month. I think it’s got to that stage now where stuff is so slow only monthly (if not more) pictures will show any difference. Hopfully I will have other interesting pics to post!

I was meant to go on another group walk this week, practice my socialising! But it got cancelled cause of the weather (I get the feeling this might be a reoccurring theme), and I can’t have my usual meet with support worker this week because of the move. Things should get back on track next week.

Transition wise, facial hair progress is really making me happy. I continue to rub in 0.5ml of Minoxidl every day, and more and more stuff keeps sprouting out – most of it light and fluffy peach fuzz – but a few are starting to turn darker. No other noticable changes.

Comparison Pic: day 35 vs day 525 (week 5 vs week 75)

 

Lone Wolf

Transition

  • Minoxidl still working well
  • Waiting on top surgery revision letter
  • First bloods since I Nebido started next week
  • I think I might be stabilising on Nebido a bit more…
  • Braved the open male changing rooms again to go lake swimming

Life

Time is rolling on and i’m getting more and more involved in my dissertation for University. It involves a lot of time staring at trees (figuring out species) and then hugging them (taking a DBH measurement) which I enjoy, especially with the weather being as hot as it has been. Only annoying bit is inputting it all into a spreadsheet – but I’m getting quite quick at that now.

I went on a walk this week, a CMHT (community mental health team) organised walk round the area. My CPN (community psychiatric nurse) had been trying to get me involved in it for a while, and I finally bit the bullet and showed up. This week it was a quiet one apparently, only a few people and quite a short walk. I found that my anxiety was pretty low, if anything it was more my awkwardness this time that came to the forefront. Holding chit-chat conversations with strangers is something that does not come easy to me…in fact it does not really come at all! Once I know someone over a period of time I slowly open up and talk more, but not on first contacts. All in all I surprised myself to be honest, it was all not as horrendous as I imagined, in fact, I felt no pressure most the time to speak, and just being with people without that struggle to speak/think of things to say was nice. *virtual pat on back*.

Tbh, I’m starting to feel comfortable with the idea that I will never be someone who likes being in big groups and social situations. Someone I know calls me a “lone wolf” and I think it’s pretty fitting. One person around, if I get on with them, is OK. But otherwise I kinda roam and enjoy the freedom of doing what I want, when I want. I guess when/if I meet “the one” that’ll change. But for now I traverse the land alone, seeing all there is to see.

I’m hoping it does not get in the way of me getting a job. Forestry is one of those deceptive careers which people think is kinda “isolated working”, when in the reality a huge chunk of the jobs these days for it are pretty social. Even “log cabin in the woods” ranger jobs now have added public interaction and guided talks/presentations attached. Still, anything environmental would be cool, ideally out of an office for at least 50% of the time.

Or maybe i’ll head off to Japan, and teach for a while. Don’t ask me how that will work with my transition, god knows. I suppose some stuff might pause, other stuff may be complicated…may have to cross those hurdles when/if they come.

Or maybe i’ll buy a boat and sail into the seas?

Or maybe travel to Indonesia and live cheap for a year doing environmental stuff.

Or maybe stay in Wales

Or go to the big cities

Or curl into a ball

and escape into

my dreams

 

Comparison Pic: day 28 vs day 518 (week 4 vs week 74)

 

Injection & surgery updates

Morning, two major bits of progress this week!

  1. Self-administeration of Nebido sortedTick

Regular readers may remember I wanted to self-inject the last one, however was stopped just before the finishing line by the nurse, who ended up doing it instead. In the normal “doing the rounds” NHS way of progress i’ve been batted from one person to the next, to the next, with large gaps of time in between. Thankfully my GP was in action mode when I saw her last week to update on the lack of progress and sorted out, there and then, a nurse who was willing to teach me for my next shot in late July. It’s only taken about 4 months to sort out (slight sarcasm). But seriously, i’m just happy it’s one less thing to arrange. In a couple of months time I will be able to let you know if Nebido is as painful to self-inject as people make out! (something to look forward to! :-p)

2. Saw my top-surgery surgeon about revisions – Tick

This was something of a blur, an hour and a half travelling from parents house, 10 minute appointment, hour and a half back. I was out the appointment before I was scheduled to be in for the appointment. But I knew what I wanted, and I was clear on asking for it – liposuction, nipple reduction, areola reduction. The liposuction they umm’ed and ahh’ed a little bit about. Apparently most the extra bulk I see is pecs not fat. But in my eyes, if I am kinda slim now and have fat there that I don’t like, if I gain weight and more fat goes there I will really not like it. Might as well get it sorted now. I will have two surgerys:

a) Liposuction and nipple reduction – in around 3 months time (which is good because I don’t have to think about Uni, and summer will be mostly over)

b) Areola reduction – A slight chance this might not be needed if the above operation makes them contract more.

Both of them day surgeries, the first with a tube grip for 4/6 weeks (ffs). Both no exercise for a month 😦 . Once it’s done though, it’s done, never again to be needed! The surgeon was fine with doing revisions, answered all my questions and was efficient and friendly. I feel confident they will do a good job.

Transition updates

This is mainly focused on facial hair. And to my pleasent surprise, minoxidil appears to be working for me! I’m about 5 weeks in of using 0.5ml once a day on my face. I now have a fuller ‘tashe and dark hairs on my chin are coming through in a patchy fashion. Light hairs on cheeks are still light but getting thicker and growing in faster. Now…as a scientist by training, I realise this could be a coincidence, it could be to do with testosterone doses changing on Nebido, or it being summer and my face is a thriving perennial. However it has freaked me out enough for me to refuse to halt taking Minoxidil until even more hair is present…I don’t want to risk it all falling off. After a year and 4 months I think i’m due my share of facial hair.

Also I took my last packet of testogel on Tuesday, never to be had again! This was really cool, no longer the annoying 5/10 mins of waiting for it to dry, of trying not to get sweaty for 6 hrs (impossible in my case). So yeh, goodbye gel, i’m still thankful for all the changes you’ve given me!

Life

Meetings, meetings, work, walking, cycling, food shopping, gym, work, eating, sleeping, walking, gym, meetings.

Comparison Pic: day 14 vs day 511 (week 2 vs week 73)

Revision Appointment

Next week I have an appointment with the top surgeon I went with in Decemeber – the first time I will have seem him since the actual surgery date. At the post-op (10 days after op) I just saw a nurse who took off the bandages and sent me on my way.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I am looking for a bit of revision done, a bit of fat out here, a bit of shrinkage there. Things, I feel, I would not have to do if I had gone with double incision instead. But I don’t regret going for peri-areola, I think the scars from DI would have caused me too much anxiety in the long run. I can’t really compare with many others who have gone peri, cause I think on a scale, I was probably one of the bigger moob sized people who has done it. So a different time scale of recovery to most.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what he says, how many surgeries, and when he can perform them. I am not worried about him saying no, from what I have heard he is happy with doing revisions, and expects it with peri because of caution when doing the first main surgery. Sounds a bit silly, but I might push any surgery dates back till mid/late August. Just cause I don’t want to be barred from the sea/lakes/rivers most of summer whilst recovering! I’m not living here for long, so I want to make the most of all the outdoor stuff round here.

I am back at my parents for most the week, and I am travelling from here to the appointment. Being back almost made me forget this blog! I have only just remembered now at almost 10pm after coming back from swimming, with a full on allergy demon-swarm-streaming-arggghh head (yes just check out the pic to notice!). Strange being out the bubble of the Uni town. It’s busier here, and just..odd! I’m so used to living further away now.

Also I see my GP tomorrow and want to make sure I will be self injecting my next Nebido shot. So I will have a few things to update on next week. Thanks to everyone who reads this blog and the comments I get from time to time. It’s nice to hear from people across wordpress 🙂

Comparison Pic: day 35 vs day 504 (week 5 vs week 72) 1 year 5 months!

 

 

The mens changing rooms

Last weekend, early morning, I went lake swimming with a group. This was a shit scary concept by itself. I had to catch a bus, travel for an hour, then meet with a bunch of strangers, and then go swimming with them. Sat on the bus I tried to distract myself with music and watching the bus travel in every direction BUT where I wanted to go first. I can’t pinpoint the anxiety, but it’s connected to people meeting me, and some kind of judgement maybe? Or me doing something wrong or not realising the right social convention? Anyway, I arrived and was early, so walked and looked at the beautifal lake with the rising sun skimming it’s surface, and was tempted to say f*** it to group swimming and just dive in and swim myself. But it was my first time proper lake swimming, and I wanted to make sure I was doing things right.

Anyway, I got to the building, still early, and the door was wedged open a notch…but the lights were out. I skulked about outside for a bit – the took a deep breath – and opened the door. A little bell rang. It was dark, paddleboards and oars and wetsuits were everywhere. I heard voices. They sounded like they were coming from a back room. I did a little dilemma dance in my head

I think it’s intruding if I seek out the voices, since they are technically still closed, but can I go out if they heard the bell ring?..will that be strange?

After standing there like a lemon for about 30 seconds to see if they came out I “casually” sauntered back to the door and went out. -exhale-. So now, I just waited outside with my head like a disco panicking about everything and anything (Including dead bodies floating around the lake…I should not watch anymore crime drama).

Then suddenly, at the allocated time, everyone suddenly turned up in some anomaly of excellent punctuality and started walking in the doors (people randomly appeared from inside). Everyone seemed to know everyone else. So I walked back inside, and introduced myself to the guy running it…they were friendly actually (need to keep reminding myself these social situations are not always horrendous). I was a bit intimidated by the men though tbh, all of them either ultra triathelon guys in their prime or just tall well built middle aged men. Youngest was maybe 35?. So this was when it got hairy…

I said I wanted to rent a wetsuit, and they got one out for me, and directed me to their changing room area. The mens changing area was a room about the size of an average kitchen, maybe smaller, with a few plastic chairs, two showers with a thin flimsy pull across sheet and miniture toilet cubicle wedged in the size. Fuck…. fuck fuck fuck.

At this point, I was luckily the first person to get changed, so boy, did I get changed – I got changed like there was a drowning baby in the lake that I could only save if I got into my wetsuit in 3 seconds flat. I had just got it up to my stomach when 3 guys came in. They said hello, and I grunted, probably a bit rudely, not wanting to talk. They started to strip off whilst I hastly finished changing and started to stuff my gear in my bag as more guys came in. With everyone’s gear, there was not much room to manoeuvre. Anyway, I shot out and went outside the building, and just sat and breathed and tried not to panic about after swimming. More people came out and started to mill about and talk. I could not handle it so walked to the lake and started to wade in a bit get a feel for it. I was very conscious of my lack of bulge too in this very tight suit, so being in the water helped.

Anyway, the swim was amazing, it was cold but I soon warmed up in the suit, the views were amazing, it was all just great. Then it finished.

People started to mill round the lake at the end and chat… I shot out and went up the building to get changed. I pulled off my suit in one move like I was god-damn batman. I towel dried frantically and put on some boxers. Feeling margianlly better and desperately needing the loo I went in the cubicle. As I was finishing I heard guys start to come in the room. Arghh. I concentrated all my energy, walked out and looked straight to my gear whilst holding my hands in a “I hope this is not obvious covering my private area” way. Had one cocky guy try start talking to me:

Guy: “Water weren’t cold was it mate?

Me: *fumbling with socks on a plastic chair whilst trying to ignore the side angle view of his penis * “Erm, Not too cold no, it was alright

Guy: “More than alright, that was, it was fucking amazing”

He was kinda hyped up and I was really not in the mood for conversing so I just said nothing more and started packing all my gear, surrounded by naked and semi naked men. Tbh, it made me very dysphoric. I was super aware of what I do not have, and it turned it from the whole thing being awesome, to just purely the swim being the awesome thing.

Problem was, I enjoyed the swim so much I want to go back. So I’m trying to figure in my head ways to go back without having to encounter the changing room situation. I think the only way really is if I have my own suit – I could just get changed outside behind some trees. Or if I mention i’m transgender they might have a seperate area I can get changed..i’m not sure how I feel about disclosing that to them though. Hum, I think on.

Anway, wow i’ve written loads. I could write a lot more. I’ve had a shit week in terms of my moods, and I think it might be me getting used to Nebido still. I can’t concentrate, I want to do everything at once, and therefore can’t do anything. I’m sleeping 10 hours at night and then about an hour in the day. I’m hungry more and sometimes have so much energy I don’t know what to do with it. I get fustrated and angry and i’m 100% all in or 100% all out with decisions. I really need it to calm down, i’m finding it hard to manage. It’s just getting through each day as it comes, each hour as it comes, and not kicking myself if about not getting everything done I think I should get done.

Comparison Pic: Day 14 vs day 497 (week 2 vs week 71)

 

Bad for enjoying male privilege?

The other day, and many days like it recently, I have got on my bike, and cycled… just cycled anywhere I can reach… beaches, mountains, hills, lakes, reservoirs, countryside, villages. And I love it, just by myself, a vague sense of where I want to go, and the open road. I can almost believe I’ve decided to just set off and travel and not return for a long long time. I grab an orange, a snack bar, some water, spare top, bit of change, waterproofs (you never know here) and set off already feeling my mind relax. I don’t care if I get lost, if its kind of isolated – if anything it adds to the adventure.

But I never used to have this freedom, pre-transition…well, theoretically I did, but practically I always had in the back of my mind “danger”. As someone percived as female back then, I always knew and hated the fact I had to consider there could be a random guy I met out there who’s a rapist, to put it bluntly. And you know what, the chances could be, and probably were, so so slim, but the fear of it always sat there, like a mini anchor that stopped me flying off to my best, reaching places I wanted to reach.

So one of the side-benefits of transitioning has been the anchor dissolving. So yeh, random violence could still occur… but I don’t feel what I used to feel. I enjoy that being a male I don’t have that vulnerability attached to me. At the same time it makes me a bit sad that many females still have to feel it. And a bit guilty for having that extra feeling of freedom.. like why should I have it over others? Just another angle for calling for gender equality I guess, respecting one gender as much as another… in fact just having respect for people full stop!

Transition

I continue to take Minoxidl for my facial hair, I think it’s working a bit, although this could be imaginary. Week 3 of Nebido now and I have gone down to half a packet of Testogel a day (I was putting on a little over half last week, its hard to let go). It’s nice not putting on so much when the weather is as hot as it is here now. Crazy 19c today (this is the UK remember). Muscles are becoming much more defined than they got on over a year of testogel. Moods are still more up and down then they were on the gel.

Life

I have signed up to do a guided lake swim nearby! Arghhh! It’s something i’ve wanted to do for a while just not had the guts. It’s in wetsuits so I don’t have to worry about people judging my body…not that that bothers me too much these days.. I suppose just downstairs more than anything. Hopfully I will be able to chat to some people and just relax and enjoy it. Will tell you the result next week 🙂

Short and sweet i’m afraid this week, I actually need to get some work done. I’ve been spending so much time enjoying the outdoors whilst the weather is nice that I have not been putting in as many hours as I would have liked!. Hope everyone has a good week…

Comparison Pic: day 28 vs day 490 (week 4 vs week 70)

 

Nebido changes

Life

Oh god, awkward barber moment. I had to get my hair cut this week, it was running out of control, so off I popped to the barbers on the other side of town because its quietest early in the morning. Except this morning there was an old man having his hair cut, and only one guy cutting. I sat on the bench in this small room next to who I assumed to be his wife who was waiting for him. And I did the “I’ll stare at my phone with a passion like no other” thing for 10 minutes whilst they nattered on. Then close together, someone else entered, and also he finished cutting the guys hair. I thought OK, it’s kinda crowded on this bench, but at least it’s my turn now – but then she shimmied over to sit in the chair (it’s a unisex place but there has never been a women getting a cut when i’ve been there before). I kind of took stock of the situation, could not take starting at my mobile for much longer, and randomly stood up, and walked out. Which oddly made me feel like i’d walked out of a shop without paying. Then ended up in another barbers with a grumpy person who attacks your head like its wild grown hedge they wanna prune down, but surprisingly ends up doing a good job. Least that’s that now for 5 weeks odd.

My parents have come to visit for a couple of days, which resulted in a trip to the beach yesterday. Shoved my wetsuit on, that actually fitted me despite it being from pre-transition days, and I actually went in the sea with my dad, despite it being pretty damn cold! For some brief periods drying off I was topless, which was a strange feeling out there. Good though, and so much easier getting changed on a windy beach with just trunks! Has felt like a re-fresh for my body getting in the salt water 🙂 .

Transition

Nebido is great for my ability to bulk up. I mean its the same stuff as testogel in the end fo the day, but my levels must be at an increased level on the injection. I’m able to lift more, and feel more “powerful” in the gym. Facial hair is coming in more and more, although this could also be helped my the minoxidil i’m taking. I am eating more, and drinking more fluids. The main problems I am having at the moment are moods. I am more irritable and get fustrated quick. I have a feel more low moods then really energetic moods. I’m just trying to ride the waves until it calms down, but it is hard, and it’s something I hoped I would not get really changing over. Basically all this above confirms I am 100% in teenage boy mode. Oh, and i’m continuing to use minodixil because I THINK, maybe, just MAYBE it might be helping with facial hair. maybe…

Top surgery

I’m still amazed at how much my chest is still changing, 5 months after surgery. I think peri-areola surgery is a totally different ball park to double insicion when it comes to healing, and there are far fewer of people’s accounts of it. Rather than the swelling and scar fading being the main aspects, its more about skin elasticity and reshaping happening over months and months. I see the top surgeon in under a month now, and want to get a few revisions, which i’m sure he will be cool with. Yes, I go swimming and show off my chest (it takes confidence and a f*** you attitude) but I really would like the nipples reduced and the size of areolas. I think it would go a hell of a lot of a way to alleviate my dysphoria about my chest still seeming to me like slightly “female looking”.

Weeks seem to be ticking by quick at the moment, soon it’s only 3 months left at Uni before I move on. I need to get cracking on my dissertation and keep up with module work. Yet I also want to make sure I’m making the most of what there is to offer round here and getting out and about! I’m starting to see a support worker (as well as my CPN) next week, who is going to do more outdoor stuff with me – get me interacting with people as well. Feel I am ready for the challenge..I think!

Comparison Pic: day 1 vs day 483 (week 0 vs week 69)