Posted in Events Health Transition

1st Day Taking HRT (day 1)

Today is the day, I am taking HRT for the first time!

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My first dose 4/4/18

I am both excited and terrified. I am incredibly excited for my future and how I can express who I am. I am terrified of how this will impact my husband and our ability to make a living. He is completely supportive, and I am especially fortunate he understands since he went the other way.

I had to go pick up the meds today and so at 0830 I was there waiting for my script. The pharmacy tech was really nice and got me my meds fast. The weird part was no one talked to me about the meds or any instructions. 

The reason this is weird is the pharmacies always require us to listen to a pharmacist. Last Monday I was picking up vitamin D and they made me wait around for the pharmacist to tell me how to take it (even though I was already taking it). Yet for a hormone that is my first time receiving, nothing from a pharmacist.

This isn’t a big deal at all, was just a surprise. The tech was really nice though and asked if I was just starting and I said yes. He smiled broadly and wished me luck.

So I got home and since its twice a day I waited until the evening time for the dosage. That way I could take it with my hubby there. He was very supportive as well and I felt pretty safe.

Oh, and only a slight bit of indigestion after taking it (having eaten some KFC).

I am a fortunate girl, I think it might be a wild ride but I am looking forward to the rest of my life.

Posted in Events Health Transition

HRT Appointment

Yesterday I went and saw my PA-c who will be handling my HRT. To be honest I was terrified she might be a gatekeeper, she might be judgmental, she might try and slow roll me.

I was wrong.

Colleen (I won’t use her last name just to keep some privacy until I come out publicly) was absolutely fantastic. She was funny, sarcastic and vaguely inappropriate in the right way.

She had no problem with the hubby being there and we all talked for about an hour and a half. She did ask me the normal questions, which I answered to the best of my ability. She was understanding of the situation and she didn’t even blink about starting me out on HRT immediately.

I did ask her about progesterone, she went over some of the most recent findings and after listening to her I had to agree I don’t think at least at this time I want to take that on top of the other two meds. She didn’t even start me on a half dose that I can tell.

I got estradiol 2 mg tablet x2 per day (for 4mg) and spironolactone 100 mg x2 per day (for 200mg). Those both seemed to be pretty in line with other ladies receive. I will come back in six weeks and get retested and see her again just to make sure everything is going ok.

We did end up going to the pharmacy that was part of her clinic and they were out of estradiol. They asked if we could come back, but since we don’t live in that city yet (that will be end of June/early July) we had them ship them to our normal pharmacy.

I am terrified about a lot of things right now, but not about what the HRT will do to me. I haven’t felt this sure about something in any of my life except for when I said yes to my husband when he proposed. The terror about everything else though will wait until tomorrow. I won’t worry about dealing with it. I have good news and that is what is important.

Posted in Health Internal Thoughts Transition

An initial summary

Today I go into my first HRT appointment, the initial labs are done and now all we do is find out how the primary care PA-c is. I am hoping she isn’t a gate-keeper, that will mean more doctors to look for so my fingers are crossed.

What I do want to do now is establish my overall physical/mental makeup. I would post a picture, but I am not ready to come out in case my employers at a very conservative agency come across it. So I will discuss with you.

I am 46 years old, 6’2” tall and built like a linebacker. I weighted 300 at my last doctor’s visit on 3/5/18 and was pretty depressed. Within a week of that I came out to my husband about being trans with positive results. It is now 4/3/18 and my last weigh in is 288lbs last week. Maybe that is a good sign to begin with.

I have muscular legs, but am pretty soft and chubby around the middle with a not hugely developed upper body. I have hair I have been growing out since last November and it reaches the back of my neck from the top of my head. It is that really untidy stage. My hair is fairly untouched by grey, I have a tiny bit on each temple, but only a few strands. My beard is different, it is streaked pretty heavily in grey, but I keep it shaved and started laser hair removal on it two weeks ago.

I am covered in tattoos, full back, most of one arm and part of another with a small one on my chest. I do plan in increasing those tattoos, but I think I want more feminine looking tattoos. I don’t have any weapons or human skulls, although I do have one rat skull representing my husband (I just got that a few months ago). I do have a lot of pretty demon and angel ladies on me. I think I will augment the tattoos and add to it though.

I have incredibly dry skin, we are talking Sahara Desert levels of dryness. It results in a lot of itching. I hear that my skin will get softer and I am weirdly enough really looking forward to that.

I currently have a broken foot so I can’t workout, but I really do want to start doing exercise bike and swimming. That will start in four weeks if I get this boot off.

I used to eat constant candy, bag a day type thing. My husband pointed out it has gotten worse over the years and my depression has too. I suspect they are definitely intertwined. He also pointed out that since I came out about three weeks ago I haven’t eaten anything candy like except for one brownie he made me because he wanted one. The weird thing is I haven’t craved it at all. I used to crave sugar all the time, now not so much.

My measurements are as follows 4/3/2018

  • Weight 288 (down from 300 on 3/5/18)
  • Neck: 19 inches
  • Waist: 47 inches
  • Hips: 49 inches
  • Chest: 49 inches.

I think I will eventually add other body parts, maybe later this week to see what impact it has. I do have a lot of muscle, so I am worried as the muscle melts away will the weight just go away or does it just become fat? We will have to see about that.

Mentally I was incredibly depressed. I didn’t really like to go do anything away from my computer and if I had a bad day I would just crave a lot of sugar.

I am sure part of the depression is that I work at a job that just drains my soul. It pays very well and helps paying down our debt, but the more I work in a day the more I just want sugar. Since coming out I haven’t had nearly as strong urges for sugar, and only when I am working. Otherwise if I am hungry a Yoplait light yogurt does all I need.

I do have a fairly feminine outlook. I do a lot of feminine stuff and dislike a lot of masculine stuff. I like to bake, read romance novels (urban fantasy or fantasy/sci-fi). I dislike working on cars, houses, etc.

I have the hardest time keeping my attention on one thing, I tend to a lot of escapism and I have a set of blender tutorials that have been mocking me (that I haven’t started). I tend to be hungry when bored or depressed and pretty uninterested in doing anything.

Right now I am not physically active much, a lot of that is my broken foot. I do really want to work out, at the very least I want to do an exercise bike or swim. I do plan getting out of the boot and maybe doing a weight circuit to record my capabilities and then every few months do it again on HRT and see if I can tell a change. I wouldn’t mind keeping a portion of my strength, I don’t have huge muscles on my arms to begin with so maybe that will be possible.

Currently I do not dress femininely publicly at all. I am still stuck in the closet as I can’t afford work to know, and to be honest I still very much feel like I am horrible looking when I see myself in a mirror in women’s clothing.

This is just a very scattershot list that I will eventually put on a page that I can keep track of any and all changes. I am incredibly excited, but also there is a lot of anxiety of not being able to get past the middle. I know if I don’t make it, that doesn’t mean I am any less deserving or beautiful, but it still makes me anxious.

I will let you know when I get back what happened.

 

 

Posted in Health Internal Thoughts Transition

I got the letter

Yesterday I got my informed consent letter from a very good mental health counselor. This is what is needed for the doctor to prescribe HRT and any possible surgeries under the coverage of insurance.

I hadn’t realized how worried I was about it until I woke up the morning of the appointment with only two hours of sleep. I get anxious with bouts of insomnia but that was pretty bad.

I really don’t know what I was fearing exactly. I have been this way since I was a teen, but I think it is only now that I am willing to push forward. He confirmed everything I had thought, and it got rid of that stupid fear that maybe I was misreading myself. So for that alone the appointment was worth it.



I still feel like an imposter wearing the clothes when I look in the mirror, but having confirmation from both my counselor and my husband reinforces that the worrying is just in my head and it isn’t real. I also know that many other trans have that same feeling of being an imposter (I have been told directly from others) and I know logically for me it is a wrong feeling just like it was for them.

I was also worried maybe I was going to fast, the hubby is always reassuring that I am not being unreasonable (we went fast on his transition), and the counselor echoed those same thoughts.

It means next week I get to go in and talk to the doctor about my HRT, take my tests and do all the medical stuff necessary to get started. I am still a bit scared, but not because I think I might be wrong. I know in my head what I feel, and have felt for decades. I am just worried about the external consequences of going down the path.

I avoided the path as long as I could because of those externalities. Now I get to see first-hand, not just as a spouse, what they are.

Posted in Internal Thoughts Transition

The solid foundation of me

I know for a fact I was born in the wrong body.

This isn’t a new thing. I have felt this way since a child. I never quite felt like I fit most things on the male side of things. I liked sports, but I hated the individual competitiveness about it. I always preferred “Home Ec” over shop classes (mainly due to the “boys club” that happened there), I preferred sitting inside with the girls while the guys went outside to be manly and posture with each other. There are so many things I preferred that I couldn’t even start to list them here.

I know truly inside myself that I wasn’t supposed to be 6’2″, built like a linebacker with the wrong appearance in the mirror. I hate my facial hair, I dislike the “manliness” that I exude, just none of it is me on the inside. None of it.

The purpose of this very short post was just to establish this in the beginning. That I know on the inside I am more suited for a female body, that is where I should be. The anxieties, worries and bad days in the future are not because I am going the wrong course, but because of either external pressures to conform, or because I am trying to work out the dissonance between what I see in the mirror and what I feel.

This post is to give myself and everyone else a peek at the solid foundation of what I am, before I start unpacking everything else.

Posted in Health Transition

Some unreasonable worries

My husband is a spectacular guy, he means the world to me. He always has and always will. I know logically and emotionally that he loves me, no matter if I look like a boy, a girl, something that fits between. He thinks I am attractive if I am chubby as I am now, or skinny when he first got with me. I totally, unconditionally know this logically.

Then why do I continuously worry that he will look at me and find I am not what he signed on for? Whether its in 2 months or 2 years I just have this weird anxiety that he is going to want to leave. It is nothing he has done, he has been nothing but loving and supportive of everything. I realize it is purely the gerbils in my head.

I worry that I may not be able to transition far enough to “pass” like he has going the other way, that he will find me unattractive. I worry he will miss me being a boy, or miss being in a gay relationship. I also totally realize he had these same worries about me when he transitioned, and I am sure he has no doubts about me, exactly how I felt about him during his transition.

I also logically realize that my anxieties are far more extensive then that, and really aren’t even associated with him. He is just the focus I have. There are a lot of anxieties, and I think in this blog I will talk more about my feelings than I am used to. In my last blog I was more focused on things logically, I didn’t get as personal as I wished I had.

So I guess I am going to start being more personal. It will probably be a bit weird, but I am ok with that.

 

 

Posted in Events Health Transition

Insurance process has started!

I am very fortunate in my situation. I live in a state that has a lot of transgender protections, including requiring insurance companies to pay for transgender care. The only negative right now is I work for the Department of Defense which as we can all see is rolling back things due to Trump, and they are the only employer that can supersede the state law for medical care.

I suspect there will be no pride month this year.

That being said, I am leaving the DoD at the end of June. My hubby is starting a new job with good medical (actually same medical we currently have, so we will just be transferring our insurance plan). So I don’t have to worry about any transgender “riders” on the insurance.

Our current and soon to be current insurance does assign people a transgender case manager to help with all the hoops you have to jump through. We have been assigned a very wonderful lady named Rae. The incredibly great part about this is she is the same one that helped my husband through his FtM process, she is the sweetest person and will fight to get you what you need.

She has already set me up in the system, and gave me a referral to a mental health specialist. This one disadvantage is the insurance company requires me to get a sign off before they will pay for HRT, voice training and implants. The implant possibility will happen two years after I am on HRT. This is to see if enough growth has happened, and if it hasn’t they will approve it.

The insurance may start covering other things like facial feminization, and laser hair removal in the future and while I will probably have my beard lasered off before then, I want everything else.  I am still debating SRS at the moment (bottom surgery) but I want to see how things progress before making that choice.

Couldn’t find a non-misogynistic/anti trans image with a guy and laser surgery. So here you go with a hopeful ending for me (face not shaving) 🙂

Rae has just been on it for me. She is so great she even gave me a list of specialists that are in favor of informed consent. Not all are like the advertise and I will complain about that in a future post.

Informed consent means you are given HRT once you have shown you understand the possible consequences of receiving it. You are basically just acknowledging you understand what its effect on you may be and you give permission to proceed. 

A lot of specialists still require you to have endless sessions and they still may decide not to approve you for a variety of reasons. This is a form of gatekeeping to determine if people are “trans enough” and unfortunately a lot of times their decision isn’t based on the person they are caring for, but their own outlook. I don’t want to waste my time doing this because someone needs to get inside me and know me deeply. I only allow my husband inside me… or maybe someone really cute.

Dear god, I am 46 years old. I have been like this my whole life.

So I have gotten an appointment with the same specialist that worked with my hubby and who believes in informed consent. The specialist was awesome to hubby, and the specialists is already being awesome with me. If things work well, I will go a week from Tuesday (the 27th) and an hour after that I will have the sign off so I can make an appointment with a doctor to get HRT.

Oh, another cool thing that Rae has done is set me up for voice training lessons, even before I saw the counselor. This caught me off guard as the speech office called me up and asked when I wanted the appointment. At first I had no idea what they were talking about until they explained what was going on. That made my day right there.

I am pretty excited (and anxious) so much is happening so soon, the insurance process has started!

Posted in Events Transition

My first clothing

I have a ton of things I want to talk about. My feelings, my situation, just about everything you can imaging. I also want to research a bunch of things as well, specific things about the process, support groups etc. However, you know what has been the first actual thing I focused on.

Clothing…

The hubby picked me up some clothing. Nothing big or in depth. I am not currently out about being trans and I couldn’t go with him because I am housebound due to an injury. He brought me back a few things and they fit pretty well.

I found that at 6’2″+ and 295-300lbs I fit a 3XL from Target. Honestly better then I expected. The leggings fit is a little off though. I haven’t started hormones yet so my fat deposits are still in a fairly masculine arrangement and the clothing definitely does not fit around my hips, they just slide off.

That being said, my husband is my hero. With is transition from FtM he can give me insights into the feminine world that I haven’t access to. The other great thing is that he sews costumes so he can accommodate my current figure.

I would post more, but it is dangerously close to my feelings and I think that will wait until later. I just wanted to say my husband is awesome.

Posted in Events Transition

It happened

It happened, on Tuesday, March 13th 2018 my journey has officially begun and I am nervous as hell. I officially told my husband I wanted to transition to a woman and it was the most nerve wracking thing I have ever done.

Not that I logically needed to worry. After all, my husband is transgender himself. He was my wife for over twenty years and has been my husband for more than four and I walked every step I could with him on that journey.

What I found though, was that my emotional brain still didn’t care about logic and was freaking out. I was so terrified he would laugh, or even worse just leave. Of course, he didn’t do any of that, he just hugged me and said he would help me through with it.

It isn’t like it is a surprise at all. I have always thought I should be a girl. In fact, growing up I got a lot of shit for liking more girly things and disliking more typically masculine. Don’t get me wrong, I had my own set of toxic masculinity (and I still do, though I am trying to stop it). However, I have always loved frilly things, pink, baking, and don’t get me started on the whole shipping of characters or focusing on relationships in games. I have always preferred all of this over working on cars, liking football or doing anything super macho. I can’t really post right here all the details, but I am sure I will unpack myself in a lot of future posts.

As a 46 year old person I didn’t think I could ever get myself to do it. I always joked “maybe next life”. I am seen as a big guy (6’2”+ and about 300lbs) and I just didn’t think it would ever work for me to transition. Even now I am fully aware I may not ever reach the ideal “passing”, but that is ok. I am fortunate, I have seen my husband’s transition and while FtM is different in a lot of ways, it still prepares me and lets me know some of what to expect. I have a loving husband who wants to support me in whatever I need.

In fact, he is so supportive that within the hour he was looking for where to get me clothing, and especially shoes that fit my size 14w feet. He is excited because he stopped sewing women’s clothing when he transitioned, but he loved the sewing itself and now he has an excuse to do it.

I am still freaking out in my head, hamsters are running wild inside me and this post probably won’t get any clearer so I will wrap up here. I am just letting the world know I finally made it official with my husband, so now I get to start planning on how to do this.

…more to come.

 

Posted in General Update Opinion Transition

How does Phoenix rank for LGBTQA Experience?

survey-checkbox-istock-580

I have to admit it, right now my experiences in other cities dealing with the LGBTQA thing hasn’t been super good. Philadelphia was good, Denver kind of sucked, Atlanta really sucked, so coming to Phoenix I was pretty sure it would be the same.

It wasn’t, overall it was a good experience, barring one funny negative experience that really wasn’t negative.

Our arrival in Phoenix was marked by a rare homophobic event. We were in line at Alamo Car Rental, and ahead of us we watched a couple get harassed by an Alamo agent. He was pushing the “walk away” insurance, and all the extra things. He was pushing it hard enough that it made the rest of the line nervous.

clueless-alamo-rollin-with-the-homies-in-an-alamo-rental-car

It was our turn, as we stepped up I braced for the selling pitch. He began a long spiel of why we needed the walk away insurance, that Arizona law lets them claim for lost days if the car was damaged, etc etc. It was then my wonderful husband spoke up and asked me a question, but used the term “sweetie” for me.

The guy froze, his head went back and forth between us, and without any further mention he has me sign off the contract and we walk away without him saying a word. So while it sucked he obviously had a problem that two guys were together, it worked in our favor and the spiel stopped.

i-hate-the-word-homophobia

Our next encounter was at the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Once again most of the staff were older people, so we were prepared to get a hard time. When our tour guide Judith arrived to give the tour, my fears blossomed. She was an older, conservative appearing woman.

However, she realized fairly soon into the tour (followed by a second tour for a different subject) that the hubby and I were together. Instead of any homophobia, she just talked to us even more. She seemed overjoyed that we liked listening to the tour, and wanted to know the history. It was definitely a great experience, and Judith is a great lady.

Dr. Meltzer’s office of course is super accepting, so we don’t need to go into that, but the Greenbaum surgical center was an unknown. However we arrived there and ALL of the staff were great, accepting of me arriving at any time day or not to visit the hubby. At no point did I not feel welcomed. It was impressive.

The rest of the time there was spent mostly in the hotel room, so the only other people we really saw were the hotel staff and they didn’t blink an eye at us. I don’t know if they were ok with us, but they kept their professional cool if they did.

That means Phoenix ranks a close second behind Philadelphia in my experience in accepting LGBTQA. I am not addressing the governmental/legal standpoint of transgender people here, just my experience with individuals

Of course I am posting this Sunday, a day early from our trip ending, hopefully that won’t change in the next day.