Tag Archive | MtF

Fifteen hundred seventy-six thousand, eight hundred minutes!

2013-09-19 13.27.37 2

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.

2013-09-20 22.11.24

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 863 – Just Another Day

Q: Been a while since you posted anything. How are you doing?
Sierra

A: I have been doing alright, thank you. Now that you mention it, it has been quite a while since I posted anything, 212 days to be exact.

Today’s soundtrack provided by Oingo Boingo.

The last time I posted anything was right around the time I was working at the music theater. I stopped doing work there when the fall semester started, but I learned quite a bit about metalwork and carpentry while I was there. It was definitely a positive experience. Now onto the present.

To be completely honest, the past four months have been hell. I will give you the incredibly abridged version as you probably don’t want to hear all the details. I started out doing okay in the semester but things quickly went downhill. I was having a hard time focusing on my work and slowly stopped going to classes, one-by-one. Throughout this my girlfriend and I were growing further and further apart. Something was missing and we were not meeting each other’s needs. We tried some different things but it wasn’t working.

I ended up failing all of my classes and things eventually culminated in our separation. It is still painful for me to think about it, and I loved her very much, but I have no choice but to move on. The future holds better things and I already see a light in the black.

Since the break up, I’ve been able to explore another side of myself in alternative lifestyle. It’s something that I’ve been interested in for a long time and I am glad to be able to now. For the record I am being responsible in my explorations and I would appreciate it if any family who read this keep to themselves or contact me privately.

Now, do you remember that light in the dark I was talking about? Well I’ve met someone wonderful who I’ve been seeing for the past month. We get along quite well and we just naturally meld. I will post a picture of us from new years.

Transition-wise there isn’t a whole lot to say. I’ve been living life as myself for over two years now and though there has been some rough water I am genuinely glad I transitioned. At the moment I am switching my anti-depressant to Zoloft in the hopes that it will help more than the Effexor and lower my anxiety levels. I am slowly realizing that my social anxiety is the root of a lot of inner turmoil. It will be at least a couple weeks until I know if that does anything for me.

That just about sums it up, I am taking two classes this semester, trying to keep my course load light. I want to try to get back into some creative hobbies such as music or chainmail as an outlet. Lets let this year be better than the last!

Abbey

(My girlfriend and I)
Image

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 😉

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

Day 588 – License To Kill

SO, since it’s been nearly a month since I got my name changed I am finally going to get a new license. I am getting ready to go with my girlfriend to the RMV today. I put it off so long because I kept making excuses, “My hair doesn’t look good”, “My face looks bad!”, “I have nothing to wear!”, but it is time I finally got this done.

This picture is from the student art show this month, I am really happy with the way it came out. Anyways, I need to finish getting ready. I may post a picture of my new license when I get it.

Have a good weekend!

Abbey

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