ORIGINALLY POSTED 1st NOVEMBER 2016
Future me here *waves* rereading this diary entry was pretty strange. Things have settled down now, but for a year or so after this visit things got pretty insane. Sadly I didn’t keep up with posting diary entries for future appointments past the next one. My transgender hormone therapy journey was so stressful at times, maybe I found it too painful to share? Maybe these sessions revealed so many fears that I didn’t want to share them?
I did manually write about the first few appointments, which saw me change Doctors multiple times, switch hormones pretty much every other month, and go on an emotional roller coaster I didn’t even know possible.
Once all the current diary entries on the site have been update to the new style, I will share these old hand written diary entries, but really, I need to sit down and write an overview entry about my experience with male to female hormones. Its now 2021, I’m still on hormones, and while this part of my transition was the toughest, it’s where I learnt the most about myself.
My first Doctor wasn’t wrong though when he said, “Be nice to yourself. Be Kind. It will take time.”
*end of future me*
The fire alarm in the train station is going off. Arghhh! It’s 7:30am and I’m about to get on the train to the Laurels Gender Identity Clinic. It’s just over two years to the day, October 23rd 2014, that I first visited this clinic, but today, I’m not going to see my Gender Therapist, instead, I’m going to see a Dr to start my Male to Female NHS transgender hormone therapy; I’m nervous, excited, unsure of what is going to happen … but I’m ready.
It’s going to be so strange going into the clinic and not seeing my therapist. I associate this place with her, so it is really going to be odd. I started self medicating hormones nearly eight months ago in March 2016. It’s been up and down ever since. All was going well for the first four months. I felt great, was seeing nice results…than I ate a load of Bananas and got a massive negative side effect. It scared me enough to stop taking the testosterone blocker named Spiro … always reminds me of the video game Spyro they do :) For three weeks after that, I was only taking the estogen pill, on a very low dose. I started to experience male things returning. I wasn’t happy at all, but didn’t want to go back to the Spiro due to the side effects.
I got help from the Angles forum, who directed me to Dr Webberley at GenderGP. Since the last Friday of July I’ve been taking Finasteride and estrogen patches with Dr Webberley’s help. I’ve been unable to return to the peaceful place I was at with the Spiro and pills, but oddly, my hormones levels are perfect. Perfectly in the female range, so that’s a bit confusing.
I would rather have rubbish numbers and feel amazing, than perfect numbers and not feel at peace. I’ve meditated so much on this over the past few months. I’ve come close to stopping Finasteride too, as the shredding (hair falling out) became too much to handle at times. This struggle lead me to write my Faith poem. I managed to stay focused and not give up, and I’m reaching a point now where I’m just letting go. What will be will be. If the medication doesn’t work, so be it. As long as I do my best, take what the Dr tells me to, I will have done my best, which is all I promised myself I would do.
So today is slightly odd. My Transgender hormone therapy journey so far has been anything but smooth. I thought once I started hormones, life would settle down, but it’s been the opposite.
CHANGE IS HARD
I’ve been debating if I should say to the Dr I want to return to the medication I was on before, or just let it be with this. Mindset is so important to success. I prefer pills to patches, but the patches seem to give better numbers. Pills are considered more dangerous. So do I go with better numbers and not feel 100% or feel at peace but not have as good numbers and potentially more dangerous?
Be interesting to see what the Dr recommends. The reason I don’t like patches so much, is they’re huge, they leave red spots on my skin, they seem to take me on an emotional roller coaster, and honestly, I find the process of them a pain. With pills, I liked the daily ritual of taking them; I felt like I was doing something everyday to get closer to my future self. With patches, you stick them on and forget about them for 3 or 4 days.
I know one thing, If I wasn’t meditating, I wouldn’t have been able to endure this past few months.
He is so chilled. A cool dude lol He even came in talking in an Italian accent at one point for no reason lol He said something, or rather, drew on a whiteboard something that resonated with me. He drew three circles, overlapping each other, with each circle representing: 1. Mind, 2. Body, 3. Social.
He is interested in getting people to a place of all three being in sync. Some people, he said, are so focused on the body that they forget the other two and become like a shell. Said you could have plastic surgery, make yourself physically beautiful, but if you forget the other two you’re just a shell. Sort of mimicked my thoughts before the session.
He told me off for self medicating, I explained how I only started as I felt helpless. I was convinced at the time being non-binary would break the cycle, so when I felt the same feelings of shame and denial return in February, I felt like it was either start hormones of kill myself. I know I could/would have done it too. That’s why I started the hormones, I had nothing to lose. I’m paying the price now a bit, as my transition hasn’t gotten off to the smoothest of starts, yet, I only found inner clarity by self medicating. It seems like it had to be that way.
So self medicating wasn’t how I wanted to start this my transgender hormone therapy, but it was the best thing I ever did.
Anyway. He said my numbers are looking pretty good, but he wants to up the patches a bit. I explained how I’ve not really been getting on with them, especially physically. So another change is coming. I’m now going onto the estrogen gel. Meaning, I would have done all three: Pills, Patches and Gel. Only the injection left lol Don’t think I could handle injections. He did say, if after three months I’m not getting on with the gel, he would be happy to put me back onto pills. It’s a compromise as I asked to go back on the pills. He also referred me for facial laser hair removal. So that should be starting soon; I’m scared but excited for that.
He also said my increase in body hair is most likely the shock of cutting out the Spiro and so much change all at once. My body has been through a lot. So I’ll see how the gel goes. He also said Finasteride at 5mg is very high, they normally do 0.5 – 1mg, so he personally recommends I cut it out. I’d be more happy to go back to Propecia, but at the moment I’m staying with Finasteride. I’ll compromise again and chop my 5mg pills into quarters, so I’ll be taking 1.25mg a day.
He also told a cool little metaphor about a tank. Saying with everything I’ve been through since childhood (I was abused as a child) I’ve put myself in a tank, to protect myself. “But it’s lonely in a tank,” he said, “you need to pop your head out once in a while.”
I’m so happy he mentioned this. He seemed more interested in overall well being, rather than pure hormone levels. My kind of man lol “Be nice to yourself. Be Kind. It will take time.” he said.
He also said he’d never know I had social anxiety. So that was a nice comment! I’ll be interested to see how the gel goes. So happy to see the back of those patches in all honesty. Hopefully the gel will be nice, give me good numbers and peace of mind. At least I know he will prescribe estrogen pills if need be. He said I’m just young enough that he’d be happy for me to take pills, over 40, he would say no. The topic of Mum and Dad came up again too, but he said … It’s about you now :)
After the session, I was in reception filling out a form and asked this lady I was sat next to for help. I’d seen her before at one of the transgender support groups. She said, everyone who walks through that door is different…for her, it took 7 months before she started being herself. It takes as long as it takes, she said :)
It’s funny, because before the appointment I started to tear up. I was in the waiting room and this girl came out wearing a red dress and red hair. She looked so cool, I started thinking, what sort of women will I be? And than I became so thankful for being in this waiting room. For having this opportunity. I started crying. It made me realise some girls will never be given, or allow themselves, the chance to become who they really are :(
My Transgender Hormone Therapy Appointment 2 took place on the 1st of February, 2017