Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well. The weather is finally starting to get nice and I am excited to finally be able to go outside. (I don’t do enough of that.)
I haven’t been doing much lately, mostly thinking, making jewelry, hanging out with friends, and playing Guild Wars 2. I have started seeing my girlfriend again. We are patching things together, hopefully we will grow from our experiences in the future.
Another thing I am working on is deciding my path for the future. I do not think going back to school right now would be in my best interest. That leaves me to finding a job, or some sort of apprenticeship/internship in the field I am interested in. I have been looking at theater internships around the country that would provide housing and a stipend while working and learning new skills. It would be a good experience but I am not sure it is what I want to do.
Anyways I just wanted to give a little update, I am a little behind on emails so I am sorry if you sent me a message and I haven’t answered yet.
2013 in review
I am a little late on the new years bandwagon but hey, better late than never right?
It has been an interesting year, but I’d hope that every year would be because otherwise there wouldn’t be much excitement now would there? In the past year I’ve consulted with Dr. Mcginn, I began seriously considering surgery, I took a leave of absence to reassess my life goals, I spent a year with my girlfriend, I met many extraordinary people who I now call friends, I was forced to see how much support I have from friends and family, My life has been broken down into pieces, and finally I have begun rebuilding my life into something amazing.
Below is a summary, courtesy of WordPress, on my blogging activity in 2013.
My question for you is in the past year what major changes have happened in your life, and what great things will they lead to if 2014?
Happy new year!
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.
Fifteen hundred seventy-six thousand, eight hundred minutes!
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.
(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.
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,
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.
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
The tests my doctor runs are:
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
Now for the your testosterone and estradiol levels.
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.
Day 863 – Just Another Day
Q: Been a while since you posted anything. How are you doing?
A: I have been doing alright, thank you. Now that you mention it, it has been quit￼e 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!