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)

 

Hey, Man

I’ve started to get slightly irritated by guys who come up to me and say “Hey, man”. It’s funny, never before have I heard a woman go up to another and say “Hey, woman”. I dunno, I actually did try it a few months back to say “Hey, man” to another guy, and it felt so damn weird. I felt like I could be saying “Hey, human” or “Hey, I notice that you have a penis” or “Hey, you have arms”. Not sure if I am explaining this well.

Maybe it just sounds funny coming from me, maybe its more of an American or surfer dude thing? I suppose I feel fine with “hey buddy/pal/mate” and they are kinda similar. Even those I don’t say personally, just other guys say to me. This relatively new world of being perceived as male is still eye opening and novel. I think some things I will always see in a slightly different light to cis-males just for the simple reason of being brought up as a female in society. And I kinda like that difference. Being transgender comes with so many tough decisions and hard situations, it’s kinda nice and you wanna grasp to the bonuses that come your way, like being one of the few who has seen first hand how society responds to the different sexes.

Transition stuff

I have started to use Minoxidl on my face. Finally succumbed to the idea of a Gandalf beard. I only use between 1/4 and a 1/2 of a ml, not the 1ml dose that you would put on your head to stall balding. I don’t really like the stuff tbh, it’s oily and feels greasy on my skin. I dab it in the morning, spend 4 hrs trying and failing to remember to not touch my face, end up with oil all over my hands and getting on my work papers and laptop, then gladly rub it off about midday. I’ll use it for another week or two and if I don’t see much happening I may just quit and store the stuff in case I want it for balding later on.

Oh, and i’ve turned into a raging, hormone inbalanced 14 y/o boy. Nebido is having fun and games, and I’m hungry ALL the time, I need naps in the day, and have random pulses of huge energy. I’m getting spotty’er and hotter and sweaty. On the plus side it’s helping me do some really good workouts at the gym/pool and muscle mass seems to be increasing. On the minus side, I’m having to deal with mood, energy and metabolism swings. I am now like a hobbit, having multiple breakfasts, and post-dinner dinners etc. It should settle down, but for now I am trying to balance it all with quite a lot of Uni work, both from module side of things and dissertation. Only 5 more weeks till I can stop rubbing in Testogel.

Life

I had a telephone interview yesterday :-0 . Potential job, although it’s one that is very hard to get. What is strange is my anxiety levels did not reach a crippling peak. I had prepared, and yeh I was nervous, but for the first time ever with an interview I had a bit of focus in me. The next stage would be an assessment day – a bit more anxiety factored into that one, but will not think about it too much unless it happens.

I feel generally I’ve been doing really good with anxiety in the past week or two. I’ve been able to walk around and do stuff without much trouble. I’ve had short bursts of very low moments, I think linked to the Nebido, but i’ve got through them and not let them rule me. Hoping it’s going to continue in a good way.

Comparison pic: day 28 vs day 245 vs day 476  (week 4 vs week 35 vs week 68 )

Switching methods

For the first time, in over 450 days, I did not take my daily Testogel ration 😮 !!!

I forgot to take the sachets back to my parents house over the weekend and thus spent 3 days gel free, which felt — not right. Like I was missing something important. Like I had started the day leaving my ear on the bed. So close to perfect record as well, if I had just lasted another 6 weeks before I stop them anyway, I could have said I NEVER missed a dose! Anyway…

I am now officially on Nebido. Since 02nd May 2017. And no, I did not get taught to self inject. Let’s whiz through the story…

Me to Nurse (2016): I think the GIC is saying I can self-inject Nebido

Nurse (2016): Hum, doubt that, if its one in your bum

Me to GIC (2017):Can I self-inject Nebido? My nurse seemed unsure it is OK…

GIC (2017):Sureee, yeh a few guys going to the clinic do it, i’ll just write on your notes that its OK and to procede. It’s a big one but diabetics do similar often enough

Me to GP: GIC says I can self-inject, can that be sorted out?

GP:Yes I don’t see why not, i’ll get it all booked for you

Me to Nurse (May 2017): So, am I self-injecting today?

Nurse (May 2017):  No, we do not have any protocol to do that, and can’t get in touch with the GIC to ask how we can go forward or teach you how to do it

*Major sigh*

So basically I have to wait 3 months until next time now when hopfully it will be sorted out. So the nurse did the injection, she:

  • Talked about it being thick and hard to get in, needing force
  • Said it’s best to warm in hands for a few minutes first
  • Said I could stand or lay down, laying down better for relaxing the bum
  • Said about it being injecting into upper quater of bum
  • Explained about drawing it out, changing needle, expelling air, and injecting
  • Then injected it in like 5 seconds straight (I kid you not)

I had said to her that I had heard other people talking about how it needed a good 40 seconds odd to go it, so that the oil did not damage the tissue. She whamed it in however. I noticed on my boxers afterwards that there was blood and a bit of fluid, so some came out, I just hope it was not much. I did not feel pain at the time, but it still aches now more than 24 hrs later. I am definitely going to tell her to slow it down next time – wait. hopefully I will be injecting the next one! She also injected the Prostap (blocker) which hopefully I will self-inject next time too!

Note, I did not go mad in that situation, I just said “OK, fine, let’s get on with it” and just moved on. You gotta pick your battles right? I have enough on my plate at the moment without chasing up and complaining about that. You get used to things not going to plan when your transitioning via NHS in the UK! At least T is in my system. So I continue to take testogel for 6 weeks (as soon as I got home I shoved on a packet of gel even though it was evening) then leave it 2 weeks and get a blood test.

Anxiety is building. I’m feeling a bit despondent about my dissertation. I can’t seem to get in the right frame of mind to start it. I am however, accessing all the channels I can. I have an appointment booked with my personal tutor, trying to get one with study mentor, and arranging one with supervisor. I think I just need to start putting pen to paper regularly, my supervisor seems to want me to take charge and not give much guidence, so maybe thats just what I have to get used to. Just take a stab at it and hope it all works out. Also started job applying/hunting. Oh, and volunteering starts this morning…..Arghhhhhhh

I’ll note each week if I get any strange side effects from the change over to Nebido. So far i’ve just felt tired and achey, but that could be down to the lack of gel for two days and a 9 mile walk the other day. Oh, and on a side note, I might just have brought some Minoxidil 😀

Comparison pic: day 1 vs day 469 (week 0 vs week 67) roughly 1 year 4 months – just started Nebido.