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Early days of HRT


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So, I jumped on the "E" train last week and am about 10 days into my HRT journey. I have the tiniest patch available. I laughed when I opened it. "This little thing is supposed to give me more feminine characteristics?"

 

I haven't really felt much of anything so far, not that I expected to at this point. I am really, really tired but that may be other factors (like staying up too late to watch NCAA basketball every night). The one noticeable difference is that my libido seems to be a lot more subdued. Not that I am proud of this, but the big M was a practically a daily part of life for me. My daily comfort and way to get an endorphin hit or just deal with loneliness. The past week, though, has been, "meh." Is that the HRT tamping things down? Or just a normal down cycle for me? Not sure yet. Time will tell.

 

I have been very quiet about things overall. Only a few people know. No one in my immediate family. I fear the backlash I will get when they find out. Worst- case scenario, my daughters stop talking to me. That would kill me. I hope I can show them over time, "See, I am still me."

 

Met with my endo on Wednesday. He is good for me to up the dose when I feel comfortable. For now, I think I am going to stand pat and take things nice and slow. Of course, I could see myself tomorrow asking him to send in the script for the higher dose...

 

I keep asking myself, what is the end game with all of this. Unlike many on here, I don't have a concrete answer yet. I am not convinced I will "go all the way" and change my name and ID, etc. Part of me would love to soldier on just as I am but with a lot more feminine physical characteristics and a more distinctly feminine wardrobe. What does that make me? Non-binary? Not sure.  Again, I am just me, as unorthodox as that is...

 

All I know is that this is something I want to do. I am comfortable walking this path for now. Again, we'll see. As always, would appreciate any feedback the more experienced folks may have. Blessings to all! 

 

EasyE

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1 hour ago, EasyE said:

I keep asking myself, what is the end game with all of this. Unlike many on here, I don't have a concrete answer yet.

We're in the same boat in regards to not having a declared endgame. I think it's important to know that you want to take a step though, even if you don't know where the path will lead you. So congratulations for your decision!

 

My wife will ask if I "want to be a woman" and in her mind that means the ultimate surgery. In my head, wanting to be a woman is a tough question. Does presenting to the world as feminine make me a woman? If so, then yes I do. I am on a precipice, socially femme, but professionally still male (isn't it odd that just typing that makes me feel uneasy?). I feel this build up that's putting a lot of subconscious pressure on me. This feeds those evenings of anxiety and it will likely come to a head in an awful way.

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11 hours ago, MaeBe said:

We're in the same boat in regards to not having a declared endgame. I think it's important to know that you want to take a step though, even if you don't know where the path will lead you. So congratulations for your decision!

 

My wife will ask if I "want to be a woman" and in her mind that means the ultimate surgery. In my head, wanting to be a woman is a tough question. Does presenting to the world as feminine make me a woman? If so, then yes I do. I am on a precipice, socially femme, but professionally still male (isn't it odd that just typing that makes me feel uneasy?). I feel this build up that's putting a lot of subconscious pressure on me. This feeds those evenings of anxiety and it will likely come to a head in an awful way.

The same boat indeed... sometimes when I come on here, I read other people typing my exact thoughts... 😉

 

I think it was you a few weeks ago who wrote about your desire to "present feminine" and that turned a light on for me. That's it! There is this very strong urge in me to present myself as feminine to the world around me. What does that mean? That I am a woman or just that I have a strong feminine dimension to myself? I have long since understood it is about much more than fashion.

 

It has been this way since I started wearing girls underwear in grade school. I would dare myself to go to school that way, on the one hand feverishly trying to hide what I had on underneath my jeans/shorts (lest I get caught and totally humiliated). Yet, also proud of the underwear I had on and what it represented and somehow wanting the world to know. What a crazy world... 

 

Blessings to you @MaeBe! Thanks for the feedback!

 

Easy

 

 

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12 minutes ago, EasyE said:

What does that mean? That I am a woman or just that I have a strong feminine dimension to myself? I have long since understood it is about much more than fashion.

 

I think this question is interesting, important, and potentially impossible to answer. In my case, at various times throughout my life, I have said to myself, "I want to be a woman", or "I want to live as a woman". Does that mean that, now I am 18 months into physical transition, I am a woman? All I can say is that sometimes I feel I am and sometimes I don't, and I don't know if that will ever change. So I try not to worry about it, and to focus on tangible steps I can take towards becoming more comfortable in my body: HRT, hair removal, hair transplants, voice training, tracheal shave, other surgeries which I may or may not decide are necessary. Also on how best to present myself so that I feel proud and happy and others treat me as I want to be treated. In my view, it is societal conditioning that makes many of us see transition as a journey from one binary to another, and I think many of us would be happier if we could let go of that conditioning.

 

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My endo still has me on pills, and sometimes my work schedule has me taking them there.

 

Now that I'm out to so many people there I sometimes feel like I should show them a dose and say, check out these little things that have been so big for me. 

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4 hours ago, MirandaB said:

My endo still has me on pills, and sometimes my work schedule has me taking them there.

 

Now that I'm out to so many people there I sometimes feel like I should show them a dose and say, check out these little things that have been so big for me. 

 

I totally get your excitement about it, @MirandaB.  But I would just add a word of caution about discussing medications or divulging too much info to non-family members. It's your choice, though.

 

Carolyn Marie

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I feel like I should show them in a totally not-really-gonna-show-them mode. 

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Congratulations! @EasyE!  Yes, it's early but you will know when things are really changing vs wondering.  I also had a big drop off in the 'need' for the 'Big M" (I think I know what you are talking about 🤔😊).  I actually found that to be very comforting. 

It took 2 or 3 months for me to feel the full emotional and biological effects (Yes!  Boobs!) and after a year that is still going on (but much slower and subtle now). 

 

I am not expecting I will do much of anything in the GRS area, BUT I do know I will never, ever go backwards wrt HRT.

 

Everybody is different ... so ... Enjoy the Ride!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to the pharmacy for my first refill today. Has it already been four weeks? (I know, it is still WAY, WAY early in the process).

 

I still strongly feel this is the path I want to take. I debated asking my doc for the next dose up but decided to go at least one more month on the "beginner's" patch. 

 

Has anything changed? Maybe in a subtle way? Is my skin a little softer? Are things getting smaller down below? Do I feel more feminine? I laugh at myself just writing these things. I do marvel that I am adding a dose of feminine hormones to my body. Girl things! It feels right. And I like those days when I pretty much forget that the patch is even there, just quietly doing its lady-like business...

 

I will try to check in from time to time with updates, as I know folks (like me) appreciate learning about others' experiences. Got questions? Feedback? I'm here. 

 

Blessings to you all!

 

Easy

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20 hours ago, EasyE said:

I went to the pharmacy for my first refill today. Has it already been four weeks? (I know, it is still WAY, WAY early in the process).

 

I still strongly feel this is the path I want to take. I debated asking my doc for the next dose up but decided to go at least one more month on the "beginner's" patch. 

 

Has anything changed? Maybe in a subtle way? Is my skin a little softer? Are things getting smaller down below? Do I feel more feminine? I laugh at myself just writing these things. I do marvel that I am adding a dose of feminine hormones to my body. Girl things! It feels right. And I like those days when I pretty much forget that the patch is even there, just quietly doing its lady-like business...

 

I will try to check in from time to time with updates, as I know folks (like me) appreciate learning about others' experiences. Got questions? Feedback? I'm here. 

 

Blessings to you all!

 

Easy

 

When you are sure you want to continue your HRT journey and the best dosage for you, consider asking your doctor for a three month prescription cycle (90 days rather than 30). This can result for some in considerable savings. It definitely did for me...

 

I am at the 4 year 5 month mark for my estrogen patches and am so glad I made the decision to go forward. 

 

Best wishes!

 

Astrid 

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On 4/14/2024 at 9:59 PM, EasyE said:

I still strongly feel this is the path I want to take. I debated asking my doc for the next dose up but decided to go at least one more month on the "beginner's" patch. 

I am on a three month review cycle for dosage. Do you have a plan with your doctor? I didn't discuss overall strategy when I got my prescription, it was a very long appointment. I was able to ask via web message to get a better idea; we'll check blood every 3 months and titrate accordingly. I don't know if we'll change labs to 6mo after a year or not, but that's where I'm at now. I, too, was like "is this enough?" at the start. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but I've seen positive results during the months at a lower dose and continue to notice changes. For instance, my skin sensitivity is much higher. I always wondered why my wife was so ticklish, but I'm starting to understand why. I'll bet I am 20-40% more sensitive to touch than I was before; gently tickling my arm (I would wake up doing this sometimes, up and down my arms) now makes my fingers tingle...in a good way. :)

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I'm at 11 months and definitely feel much better! I did go through rollercoaster of emotions. I'm looking forward to year 2 and hopefully fill out more. congratulations on making it this far and you are correct that you are in the early stages.

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