HRT

15 Months on T

I went to SD Pride last weekend with Alex. It was a huge contrast compared to the way I felt after last year’s pride. We participated in the 1st Annual San Diego Trans* Pride and March. For me, it was pretty overwhelming, in a good way, all the support I saw from those just passing by or looking on. Granted, we were in the “gay” neighborhood, but still, it’s something. We also got to see Laverne Cox give the keynote speech at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally. As she was leaving the stage, they brought out her biggest fan, Ryland Whittington. It was really nice to hear such focus on trans* rights this year. I know last year was a huge win for marriage equality, but I’m glad this year the focus has shifted.

I realized just a few moments ago that it has been three months since I’ve done a proper picture update. Honestly, not much has changed since then, except that I’ve gotten more hair on my face and body. My body shape seems to have stayed the same in the past 3 months. Part of that could be owed to recovering from surgery and not being able to workout though. Assuming my Dr. Mosser approves, I should be able to resume all normal activities starting Wednesday (6 weeks post op). I’m looking forward to being able to put on some more muscle and hopefully lose some more body fat.

20140725 Front

20140725 Back

 

As far as top surgery recovery goes, it seems to be going really well. My swelling/fluid build up has pretty much all cleared up now. It was like magic after the three week mark. I’ve regained a lot of my range of motion. The only thing that is still pretty tight is reaching above my head. I’ve been avoiding doing it too much, but I had to reach something way above my head in the grocery store yesterday. It was tighter on the left than on the right, probably due to the longer time it took the swelling to dissipate.

Dr. Mosser has expressed concern about stretching of the scars by lifting the arms too much, but I think I’m more concerned about regaining full range of motion. I hope that I can find a middle ground. It is my body after all, and I hope that my scars will fade enough that the size of them won’t really be an issue. I’ll probably be asking about regaining full range of motion versus scar stretching in my follow up next week.

1 Year on Testosterone!

Now that I’ve been a year on testosterone, I’ve had a lot of time for self-reflection. This year has not been as easy as I thought it would be. Transitioning has consumed more of my mental energy than I ever thought it would. When I first began transitioning, I was a full-time student, working a part-time job (~20 hours a week), and volunteering in a research lab (~20 hours a week). On top of all that, I spent A LOT of free time doing research on trans related things: reading blogs, reading scientific journal articles, watching videos, etc.  I had also been accepted into my department’s contiguous B.S./M.S. program with the intention of completing a thesis by June 2014. It was overwhelming and exhausting.

Slowly, I began to realize it was probably too much for me. I couldn’t do ALL the things that I wanted to do. I quit my part-time job to focus more on research for my thesis. Even then, I felt stressed out. I kept thinking about how little time and relatively little guidance I had towards my thesis. By the end of November, I convinced myself that it would be impossible for me to complete my thesis by graduation time in June, but kept pushing along thinking that somehow I would pull through.

In August, I started CrossFit. As I got more into it, I began to realize how much all the stress was negatively impacting my health, both mentally and physically. In January, I officially quit my research position and decided that I would just take the comprehensive exam for my M.S. instead. Instantly, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I was finally able to take the time I’ve been needing for self-care. I think what made the final push was attending T*Camp at the beginning of January. It made me realize definitively that my health was more important than trying to do ALL the things. I figured I should take this opportunity to really focus on myself while I could. It’s the first time since being in school that I haven’t had to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills, etc. I am so thankful that my husband has allowed me this time, especially before I have to get a “real” job.

But still, even though it has been somewhat stressful, transitioning is one of the best things I have done. It’s definitely not easy. Coming out to people is hard. You just never know how someone will react. Will they treat you differently even if they say they are fine with it? For the most part, I’ve had a really positive experience with coming out and just going about my life. I am thankful for this because I know a lot of people don’t have such good experiences, and I really feel for them.

The one thing I’ve learned is that even though transitioning is wonderful, it can still be exhausting and overwhelming at times. To those who are thinking about or who are transitioning, make sure to give yourself that personal time you need. Sometimes it’s easy to think you can do everything, but I think it’s healthier to take a step back and drop some of the less important things. One of the reasons most people transition is for their own mental and emotional health, so don’t overdo it.

On to my photos!

20140425 Back

20140425 Body

20140425 Full Body

 

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It went by slow and fast all at the same time. I also have less than 8 weeks until top surgery!

From now on, I’ll only be doing a photo update every other month. I feel like the changes are starting to slow down. A lot of my body composition changes from now on I think are mostly going to be from working out and eating right.

I am excited that the hair on my tummy is finally visible in these pictures without having to take a close up shot.

I’ll be posting some comparison photos either later on today or over the weekend. I also hope to get a sound clip of my voice posted.

Until then! =)

Five Weeks

I feel like time is both flying by and crawling at the same time. I have so much to do in the next two weeks due to the end of school rapidly approaching, but at the same time, I’m anxiously awaiting my next injection which is still a week away. It seems crazy to me that 5 weeks have passed, but I’m still waiting for more noticeable changes to occur. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely changes that have happened. I just want them to happen faster! Not much has happened since my last update, but I think one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that I definitely smell different, not in a bad way. It’s just different from the way I used to smell. Also, I’m not sure if this is transition related or if I’m just really busy/stressed with school and work, but I’ve been really tired lately. Even after getting a solid 8 hours of sleep, I don’t feel completely rested. I’m looking forward to see if this changes after I graduate and get off time at night instead of working on projects, presentations, and papers from the time I get home until I go to sleep.

Other than that, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. We’ll be going over my lab results. This is my first blood test since starting testosterone, so hopefully everything is good.