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Great news and not so great news

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Hey there, I bet y’all have been wondering what the hell Abbey’s been doing for the past 2 months; or maybe you didn’t. That’s fine, I won’t take it personally. At least I’ll try not to. Okay I lied, I am going to cry myself to sleep when I find out you don’t care about me. Okay that was a lie too, but lets move on to what has been happening in my life! (And yes that is me in a cage)

The not so good news is that I have been in a state of emotion meltdown for the past 2 months and my life has been crumbling down around me. It was partially triggered by my girlfriend’s emotional crisis in which lead her to temporarily relocate to Florida in order to get away from all of the negativity in her current environment. For a time I hadn’t heard from her and I’ve been a blob of raw emotion oozing through the days like clockwork at the same slow pace. Many feelings of fear, panic, pain, sadness, uncertainty, abandonment, shame, guilt, anger, rage, psychosis, delusions, and anxiety. It has also brought up a lot of issues I need to work on within myself. It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture does it? It is probably a dark swirling canvas of black and sharp colors like crimson blood red, or a deep magenta. Maybe I will paint my emotions. That could totally be a coping skill!!!

Moving on, this all sort of culminated two weeks ago when I cut myself and went to the hospital. From there I was sent to the lowell treatment center and put on the young adults unit. I spend a week there on 15 minute checks, asking to go to the bathroom, no pencils, rubbery pens you have to sign out, no belts, laces, necklaces, jewelry, or drawstrings of any kind, and basically constant supervision. It was the real deal. They at least got me to a point where I was stable. One of the Nights there was a code blue and someone had to be restrained. They put him in the quiet room right next to my room and he was banging on my wall. I start having a panic attack and run to the other side of the unit with my ginger cat buildabear and cowered in a corner. One of the staff was checking on me the best she could. In the end I scratched up my arm with a folded up teddy grahams wrapper.

The night prior to my discharge an even bigger code blue or green happened and a kid had a knife and was gonna stab someone. The police were called and while they were restraining him with sedatives and force, I was helping keep the other rowdy patients calm. I went into fight mode where I wanted to do anything I could to help.

But, I am out now, and on to the good news!
I am in New Jersey! (No that’s never good news) but what is right next to Jersey?? What’s that??? PA… Pennsylvania!!!! And who practices in new hope, PA? Dr. Christine McGinn!!!

Yay you figured it out ūüėÄ
Anyways if you don’t know who Dr. Christine McGinn is, she is a transgender surgeon who does srs, ffs, and other surgeries and is now one of the few surgeons here in the states who can perform these procedures!

So tomorrow at noon I have a consultation with the doctor (who?) to go over the various procedures I may get and possibly about insurance. My goal is to get insurance to cover some of the procedures I want like FFS and a boob job. But we will see once I get a request for pre-authorization in.

So anyways, wish me luck tomorrow and I hope you all have a wonderful day! I will post a more organized update later this week about my experience.

Bye!
– Abbey Kat

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Fifteen hundred seventy-six thousand, eight hundred minutes!

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The time I’ve spent popping estrogen pills.

That’s right, this is my 3 year anniversary since starting hormones, and now I have rent stuck in my head.

Quite a bit has changed in the past 3 years and I am genuinely glad that I made the decision to transition so long ago, even if I thought I was too old. Trust me, 21 is not too old. It is a daunting step, but absolutely worth it. I have had my fair share of ups and downs, which is partially what I am going to talk about today, but in the end I am still happy with the choices I’ve made.

The last time I gave a substantial update was around the beginning of the year. My girlfriend and I are still together, we are pretty madly in love, which creates it’s own set of problems. More on that later. Over the summer I did some more over-hire work at the music theater, mostly welding. I got to design an awesome set of handles for the gate into Oz (Thats right, we did the wizard of Oz). After that they did Cats, which I only helped on load in for. I was pretty off the wall about it because I am a cat myself. I was freaking out running around the super-sized set pieces and climbing up the steel cat perches suspended above the stage. On opening night I even had a confrontation with one of the cats in the aisle. I meowed at him and he froze, looking at me. I meowed again and as he slowly backed away I hissed. I am mildly insane.

2013-06-26 19.14.56(The handles I designed and built)

Speaking of insane, I am re-evaluating my mental health. My girlfriend recently went into the hospital and is now in Florida trying to get her life back together. Since we are so in love, being apart is wreaking havoc on my emotional well-being (especially with our particular relationship). While she was in the hospital here I had a few mental breakdowns because it was particularly triggering for me. I took a medical leave of absence to get myself figured out this semester. At one point I stopped caring and took a bunch of pills, including 40mg of Ambien. I woke up the next day with my mom sleeping next to me, wondering what the hell happened. Honestly, she probably should have taken me to the hospital.

This whole ordeal has been quite trying on my state of mental health. I am questioning whether the Zoloft and Wellbutrin I am on are doing anything at all. I need to be re-evaluated to determine what my problems actually are. I feel like my anxiety and panic attacks are the root of many of my problems. I’ve had an increasing number of panic attacks recently. I have had some incidents of self harm as well.¬†

I need to be in some sort of program, and yesterday I was evaluated and referred to a partial hospitalization program, where you are at the hospital from 9am-3pm doing group and individual therapy. I think it will help me, but I am not sure if I actually need inpatient. Last night I had a particularly bad panic attack because I was thinking about all the people I would have to be around in the program. I eventually started scratching myself but had enough willpower to stop myself before any significant damage was done. It scared me a lot. Hopefully I end up where I need to be.

On a more positive note, I have been trying to take this time off from class to do things I’ve always wanted to do. I am trying to expand my Etsy store¬†and this past friday I took a blacksmithing workshop and had a blast making this forged “S” hook and pointer.

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On an even brighter note, I have a consultation on the 19th of November with Christine McGinn in Pennsylvania. I am going to be talking to her about FFS, breast augmentation, as well as GRS. I am making a strong effort to get the procedures covered under insurance. Chances are I will focus on the FFS and breast augmentation first because they will have a greater effect on my self confidence.

Anyways I will try to get some answers up to the Ask Abbey questions that have been piling up in my inbox, sorry to those who haven’t had their questions answered! I am also going to update my face and breast development timelines soon.

Until next time,

Abbey Kat

AA: HRT Advice

Here is a recent Ask Abbey question that I got, my hope is to give a broad understanding of the process and hopefully get others on the right track.

Q: Hiya abbey.

I wont take up to much of your time. I just want to ask ¬†you, my doctor started me on 2mg of esteofem daily but wont give me anything else because they really don’t know what I have to take. She told me to ask around hence why I am here. The esteofem has yielded good results so far(boobs are growing fast and my waist is getting curvy) but want to be taking the right things. I have done some research and apparently I should also be on “spiro.”

Can you advise me on what else I should be taking so i can inform my doctor.

Ashley
X

A: Hi Ashley,

The estrofem is a good start, after being on it for a while you may raise that dose a little. The average estrogen dose can be anywhere from 2mg to 8mg per day.

You are correct about Spiro, it is an antiandrogen called Spironolactone (Aldactone): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spironolactone

What it does is block the effects of testosterone on your body and effectively lowers your blood testosterone levels. Estrogen has some antiandrogenic properties alone but it is far more effective to pair it with Spironolactone. My advice for your doctor would be to start you on 50 or 100mg/day of spironolactone for a few weeks to make sure you have no adverse reactions, then increase your dose until your testosterone is sufficiently suppressed. The average dose is around 200mg but some people take up to 300 or 400mg per day. There are some other antiandrogens out there, but Spironolactone is by far the most commonly used and tested and has the fewest side effects.

Now when seeing an endocrinologist They will usually run blood tests before adjusting your medications to determine if you need to increase your dosage or not.

The tests my doctor runs are:

Estradiol, Ultra Sensitive, LC/MS/MS
Testosterone
Prolactin
Potassium
Lipid Panel
TSH
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy

The first 4 are the most important, the lipid panel, TSH, and Vitamin D are more for general health. The prolactin level is important to watch at first because HRT can increase those levels, especially in someone who already has elevated levels. If you have high prolactin levels before hormones it could be explained by a Prolactinoma, which is a benign tumor on the pituitary gland. They can be treated with medication or surgery but are not an immediate cause for alarm. Spiro is a Potassium-sparing diuretic so it can cause elevated potassium levels in your blood. It is important to monitor your levels for the first year or so to watch out for Hyplerkalemia but

as long as you are not eating a bushel of bananas every day you probably won’t have any issues. I can still eat bananas and be fine.

Now for the your testosterone and estradiol levels.

For a MtF person on HRT the target blood Estradiol level is in the range of 50-150 pg/mL. The ideal testosterone level would be below 100 ng/dL.
Before starting hormones my Testosterone level was 184 ng/dL and my estradiol was 24.02 pg/mL
After starting hormones my Testosterone levels are 27 ng/dL and my estradiol is 68 pg/mL
As you can see, my numbers are quite different now.

That pretty much covers the basics, some people also take progesterone, but the results are very controversial as to whether they do anything or not. They are usually claimed to help in breast development and increase sex drive, as well as make you more moody. Not surprising because it is the hormone that spikes during a females menstrual cycle during and after ovulation. My doctor does not prescribe it so I do not know as much about it, but if you do decide to research it and try it, do so after you have your estrogen and testosterone levels where you want them.

Abbey

Day 651 – Mild Steel Bondage

Hello and welcome to this post! I will be talking about some things that have been going on in my life over the course of the past week. As you can see above, I have been spending a lot of time in the metal shop at work. Next week we have basically one day to put the new speaker system into the theater before we have a concert loading-in on Wednesday. My main focus was to get the 6 mounting brackets made and painted so that they would be ready. Each bracket is just over 3 feet tall and 5 feet long. They will hang out over the edge of the truss that hangs above the stage, the speakers will then hang at the end of the pipe. Below you can take a look at them coming together as I built them. I will try and take a picture of one once they are installed on Monday.

In other news my endo appointment went well, my levels were at reasonable levels and things are basically going to stay the same from here on out. I think my estrogen was around 67 and my testosterone was 10 or 20, the estrogen count was a bit low for my liking but the day I had the test I hadn’t taken any in the morning so that may have thrown it off.

My girlfriend and I have been experimenting with each of our different sexual sides. We love each other very much but there was something that was kind of lacking in our relationship. Things were just kind of… stagnant? We weren’t really moving forward in the relationship. Luckily with some mentoring from a friend of ours things are better than ever. ūüôā

I also just commissioned someone to make a custom pair of leather cuffs for me so I am quite excited. ^-^

I guess that is it for now, I hope everyone is staying cool in this god awful weather, my girlfriend only has a window AC so we have been limping our way through the day, trying not to move too much!

Until next time,

Abbey

Day 640 – Round House Theater

Hello everyone,

It’s been some time since I’ve really touched my blog. I blame it mostly on my new job. A new job you say?

Thats right! I am working at a music theater in the round. This is a picture of the stage, graciously taken from google. I mostly do carpentry and welding in the scene shop but I do some work for my brother in the sound department as well. It is my first time working in a theater and I have been enjoying it quite a bit. The hours are long (35-40 hours) and it can be exhausting, but it is very rewarding and I am getting a lot of experience that could be helpful down the road.

This all started during my birthday party on the 6th of May, my girlfriend and I were talking with my brother Andy and his girlfriend Maria, who both work at the theater. Somehow we got on the topic of jobs and they said they could always use extra hands during load-ins at the theater. Over the next few days I thought about it and by the end of the week I was taking a look at the theater and meeting my soon to be co-workers. My first day was the Monday after.

Growing up my brother would always talk about theater so I’ve had some background knowledge in it for a while. I helped out a few times at my high school’s theater, but I never thought I would end up working in one! I even get to go up in the catwalk above the stage ūüėČ

All I’ve really done for the past few weeks has been working and sleeping. working from 8am to 7pm doesn’t leave room for much else, but the 3 day weekend is a plus. This past week has been especially exhausting because Hello Dolly! opens on Wednesday. That means I have worked at least 4 hours every day for the past 8 days, awesome!

That just makes it that much more exciting that I have tomorrow off because I have my 6 month checkup appointment with my endocrinologist! I am excited to see what my levels are at and make sure that they are in the proper range. I feel like things should be in the right place because I have seen a decent amount of progress since my last appointment, but it can’t hurt to see. On that note, I will be posting an updated batch of measurements this week and possibly give an update on my breast growth. I will tell you now, they seem like a healthy A cup, or a small B.

Anyways I have to get ready for bed so I can get some much needed sleep,

Until next time,

Abbey

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