Soooo, I haven’t blogged about it yet, (duh) but I started T at the end of last week!!! (I know, right?!? YEA!!!!!) Tonight, sometime around 7pm will mark 6 full days on testosterone!
Not sure why it’s taken me so long to get around to writing this. Eh, oh well
Without further ado, here are the scintillating details…
I was shocked to realize that my trip to the gyno/hormone doctor would be my actual start day on testosterone— totally wasn’t expecting it at all, but of course it made my day/week/month/year/LIFE!
First things first: the nurse came in and got my height, weight, blood-pressure, etc. and asked the usual first-doctor-visit-type-questions, and THEN we got to the super-fun-part where she asked about my… uh… lady-cycle. Blah. Unfortunately, the curse was mere hours away from rearing its ugly head. The cramps had begun. I could tell the bitch was close… I was actually kinda pissy about having to report Aunt-fuckin-Flow’s return. Ah, but such is life, and in the back of my head I was reminding myself that I’d be kickin’ her ass to the curb soon enough. Little did I know that the very thing that I loathe would ALSO be the very thing to tip the scale and allow me to start HRT immediately.
The doctor made a compelling case for bio-identical testosterone, so I decided to give it a try. Granted, the changes will happen at a slower pace (AND it’s quite a bit more expensive than the injectable option), but I think it better suits my personal time line. The bio-identical, as opposed to synthetic (or injectable), testosterone that I’m taking is a cream that’s compounded by a local pharmacy and applied twice a day.
In fact, the specific type of bio-identical testosterone that she recommends is fairly new and highly controversial: The Wiley Protocol for Men. These Protocols replicate the body’s natural hormone rhythms. The creams and their daily dosage amounts are designed to vary throughout a 28 day cycle because youthful hormone levels fluctuate naturally. The Wiley Protocol actually targets a baseline age of 20 for its dosing. For FTM HRT my doctor recommended that I stay on a 28 day, lunar-calendar cycle (annnnd since I was about to start my stupid period [ANY. Minute.] she thought it would be a great time to start my new “man cycle” = hooray!)
My doctor was great—and trans, herself—so, I immediately felt more at ease. She spent almost 45 minutes talking with me in her office, rather than an exam room = added bonus! After discussing my options (and assuring me that I could switch over to an injectable, synthetic option anytime)—she gave me me my transdermal, bio-identical script and let me know that it had already been called into the compounding pharmacy by my house. She also gave me the paperwork for two sets of blood work. One that I’ll go take care of sometime next week (for basic stuff: cholesterol, etc.), and the other between days 6 and 13 of my NEXT cycle. That’s the one that will test my testosterone and estrogen levels.
After I wrapped up with the doctor, the nurse met with me to go over the details of the lunar calendar cycle and application of the testosterone.
The Wiley Protocol for Men is dual therapy program consisting of both Testosterone and DHEA. The DHEA is applied in the morning ONLY (when men’s androgens normally peak), and the the testosterone is applied both in the morning and a slightly larger dose again in the evening. The amounts for each day, and for each day’s dose, vary — depending on the Lunar Calendar/cycle day.
It seemed complicated at first, but I’m now on my 6th full day, and it’s actually a LOT easier than I first thought it was going to be. I just have to look at the dosage amount listed on my calendar for each day and make sure that I measure the amount exactly—even that it pretty easy since both the DHEA and the testosterone come in color-coded syringes. I just count the number of lines for the day, carefully squeeze the correct amount of cream out of the syringe and rub it into my upper arm(s) — the DHEA on one arm and the testosterone on the other.
It takes about 10 minutes for everything to dry and around an hour for it to be completely absorbed. I just have to be careful about my showers and (should I EVER decide to get my ass to the gym — it would have to either be before an application or at least two hours after, so I don’t sweat it out of my body).
So? What have I noticed??
Eh, not a lot, actually.
It’s kind of hard at this point to discern the REAL stuff from the psychosomatic… I FEEL like I’m stronger. I FEEL like my voice is on the verge of breaking. But in reality, I’m probably at least another month from a voice drop and there’s certainly not been any additional hair growth. I am definitely more *aware* of my body though, for sure… Muscles. Hair. Fat. Everything. I’m really not obsessing over all of the details at this point (really!)—I have no reason to be—BUT I am aware that change is happening.
I CAN say with relative certainty that my libido is on the rise AND that I’m staaaarving. All. The. TIME. Like—waking up in the middle of the night from my stomach-grrrrowling-HUNGRY. I feel like I want to eat all the time and eat a LOT.
I’ve also had a hard time waking up the last week — not sure if that’s related to the T, but it does make sense that my body might be working over-time (and need extra rest) to adjust to all the new stuff happening behind the scenes.
Oh yeeeeah, and regarding the dreaded, monthly visitor—perhaps it’s a little TMI, but whatever. It’s part of it…
I was excited (and VERY hopeful) when I applied that first dose of testosterone last Thursday night — I guess I halfway expected (hopefully) that I’d experienced my last menstrual cycle in April and maybe after the lingering cramps faded away, the experience would just be a distant memory… ah, but nooooo such luck… What I’d hoped was my body, armed with it’s new powerful hormone, fighting-off the monthly estrogen monster — was obviously my body just figuring out how the hell to finish what it had started… and so it—I—did. Started about 4 days in, and so far, it seems to be about the same as normal. Blah. Oh well… I’m STILL telling myself, “Maybe THIS is the last time”…
It’s kind of a weird/interesting thing to experience, though — the simultaneous affects of both male and female hormones. No wonder all I want to do lately is sleep and eat and… well, maybe one other thing.
I did a pre-T video really quick last week before apply my first dose, and I plan on doing another one tomorrow night – just to track my progress. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to upload them anywhere or if I’ll just keep them archived for my own curiosity.
I’ll definitely continue posting updates here though —
maybe under a new “update” category, and I’ll keep you posted on how the transdermal/bio-identical stuff is working. Right now, I love that I get a dose everyday AND that it’s an actual, physical step everyday that is taking me where I want to go… AND I don’t have to deal with shots—’cause I mean, really!? Ugh. I might end up changing my mind on the injections or might decide it’s time to kick the progress up a notch… who knows. We’ll see. Hey, they don’t call it a transition for nothing! I’m taking it one day at a time