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Offline Monica

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Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« on: February 02, 2019, 10:27:01 pm »
Hi everybody,

My name's Monica, I'm 43. I work with financial technologies. I feel like I'm pretty new to all this, and still trying to wrap my head around some of it, so apologies in advance if I come off sounding uninformed. I'm working on learning and growing.

I've had hormone problems almost my entire adult life. Huge rapid weight fluctuations in both directions, moodiness, the manic highs, and lows that go on for months, or even in some cases, years. I didn't know what it was until fairly recently. I always figured that I was young, and verile and healthy until I was in my late 30's and my wife insisted I see a doctor, and get myself looked at.

The doctor said that all my sex hormones were dangerously low, and prescribed me testosterone injections to get everything back on track. The idea being that it would jump start my body back into balance, and I would feel better. The brain fog and atrophy that comes with not producing enough sex hormone is pure hell. The slowness, lack of motivation, all of it. Not fun stuff. I wouldn't wish it on anyone I like.

So I took the medication for about a year. And, really, honestly, I just went from one kind of sick to another. The injections had a short half life in my system. I would take T, and get hot flashes, then I would feel amazing for about a week. And, then I would have to suffer for the next three weeks until my next injection. Rinse, repeat. The crashes on it were terrible. When I was coming down, I would feel completely alone, shaky, depressed (and I'm usually a REALLY happy person), and dejected. Completely without hope.

I gave up on it. Stopped seeing the doctor about a year after I started. And I was good for about a year and a half as I went back to my old habit of never seeing a doctor unless I think I'm dying.

This year, I decided to do something interesting with my career. I bought an RV, and started travelling around to the job sites I work at. And it's been a great time. I'm saving money. I love the freedom. I should be thrilled, and excited that my projects are going well, and that my clients love me.

But I've been having another episode for the last year and a half or so. This has been the worst yet. After we figured out that this whole thing was about defective hormones, I learned to listen to my body. Pick up on what it's trying to tell me. The way you might examine the error logs of a computer program to figure out what's wrong. So, that way, I could work backwards, and maybe figure the whole thing out.

It got so bad the other day, that I called in sick on my project, and just lay in bed with no motivation to do anything but look at the ceiling. Anything else was painful. It's difficult to describe what I mean by that, but if you've ever been through something like that you'll know.

By this time, my testicals had been in constant pain for about eight weeks. It's sort of like getting punched, but it doesn't really start or stop. It's just a dull, cruel, pain that doesn't let up. I had started to grow breasts, and one of the guys at work said something about it. I jokingly referenced fight club, and he awkwardly walked away, never bringing it up again.

Around the same time, I had mostly stopped wearing men's clothing, other than the baggy t-shirts and button downs I needed to avoid these uncomfortable conversations with my co-workers. I mean, yeah, girls clothes are more fun. But for me, it was kind of a matter of necessity. If I tried wearing my boy clothes, nothing fit. Even if it's in the right size. My body just isn't shaped that way. And, I look like an overweight redneck if I even try. It's disgusting. So, I was pretty careful to do it subtly. Even in liberal states, you have to be courageous if you're going to be over the top with anything even the slightest bit unusual. Truth is, I'm a coward, not really an activist.

You know, when I was in my early 20's, I was pretty. Not in a masculine way, either. Some of the gals I would hang out with would tell me that I would look better as a woman than they did. That's probably true. I've never been against the idea. It was a good time, I felt great, my body was in balance. I couldn't lose at anything. Then I got distracted with a career that involves sitting down for eight hours a day, and by my mid 20's my body started to change. It got straighter, less curvy. I gained 100 lbs, I got hairier.

And, I'm thinking about this, nine hours into my stare at the ceiling session. Then my brain went into problem solving mode. I shovelled myself out of bed. It took all the strength I had, and my first inclination was to get online, and see if I could get my hands on anabolic steroids. Turns out, it's not hard to do... as long as you're willing to wait 10 weeks. I did some research on them. I almost put my money where my mouth is, and came really close to getting some.

The source material on the internet for this sucks. There's a lot, "dude, you'll get so ripped," and not really a whole lot of useful material for anyone in my situation. Then my eyes roll across the fine print. "This one's five times stronger than T."  And it hits me, mainly because I must be stupid and slow.

All this time, I've been trying to feed the wrong system.

What my body is telling me is that I'm low on hormone. Not which hormone will make me feel better. I wish my body had a better debugger sometimes. I wish those logs were easier to read. What it should be telling me is that I need estrogen. So, I tried to figure out how to get my hands on some. Any kind. And, the easiest thing to get was phytoestrogen supplements from GNC. I couldn't get out of that place fast enough. The guy behind the counter really wanted to sell me bodybuilding supplements, and I was having none of it. Got to the car, tore open the bottle, and sucked down probably about nine pills.

The stuff acts fast. Right then and there, about 20 minutes later, I felt great. My head cleared up. It initially really spun my starving estrogen receptors. And, wait a minute, I remember this. That's what I'm supposed to feel like. For lack of a better way to describe it, it sort of felt like falling in love. Or remembering it... intensely.

I had some trouble with it though. It got me through the episode, but take too much of the stuff, and it makes your heart pound. Also, this morning (almost 5 days later) I woke up feeling like my testosterone levels were higher, which honestly, makes me a little uncomfortable. My breasts have stopped swelling though, nipples have softened, and my testicals don't hurt quite as much, which is nice.

So, now that I've learned something, I think I want that balance again. I think I want to do a full transition. I really have little or no emotional investment in masculinity as a concept. I could take it or leave it. If it screws up my quality of life, it's not worth it. There are aspects to transition that I find scary, but I'm up to it. There's no listed side effect anywhere, that I haven't already experienced some degree of.

My wife is probably terrified. She's says she gets it, and she's really trying to be supportive. She's worried that my penis will go away, or shrivel up and not be useful. I tried to explain girl dick to her, but she wants to hear it from a doctor.

To make her feel better, I told her that I wouldn't start treatment until June when I get back to town. That makes her feel better, I think. Just ordered some Progynova and Spiractin tonight though. I need some long term relief. I need it as soon as possible. I figure, when I do come clean with her about it, she'll understand.

Anyway, that was wordy.

Sorry. Just wanted to get it out. I wanted to thank everyone here. This seems like a really accepting group, and I found a lot of the topics here really useful and insightful. I can't tell you how much I've learned, and how this board really helped me feel better about making my decision to begin HRT.

You're all beautiful.
Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 11:38:43 pm by Jessica »

Offline Jessica

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 11:35:59 pm »
Hi Monica 🙋‍♀️ Welcome to Susan’s Place!  I’m Jessica.
Well that most certainly was good for you to relate to us.  It’s likely that there are more than a few here that understand personally your struggles.

I see you’re new here, so I’ll post some links that may help you get better acquainted with the site. Pay attention to the site rules they can be of great help and don’t forget the link highlighted red.  It has answers to questions that are commonly asked.  Then join in on a topic you find interesting and learn and share.

Things that you should read

"If you go out looking for friends, you are going to find they are very scarce.  If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere."

Offline Monica

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2019, 11:45:46 pm »
Thanks Jessica!
It's a pleasure to meet you.
This content is great, thank you.

Offline V M

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 01:01:51 pm »
Hi Monica  :icon_wave:

Welcome to Susan's Place  :)  Glad to have you here, join on in the fun

Hugs

V M
The main things to remember in life are Love, Kindness, Understanding and Respect - Always make forward progress

Superficial fanny kissing friends are a dime a dozen, a TRUE FRIEND however is PRICELESS

 
- V M

Offline HappyMoni

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 06:03:24 pm »
Hi Monica,
   Hey, we have the same name, yay! Welcome to you. Thank you for the introduction. I do have a question. I hope you don't mind. Much of your post centers around your health and the hormonal things you have been through. Are you considering transition because of your health history or because you relate mentally to the feminine side of the universe? I am Moni, by the way, short for Monica. Glad you are here.
If I ever offend you, let me know. It's not what I am about.
"Never let the dark kill your light!"  (SailorMars)

HRT June 11, 2015. (new birthday) - FFS in late June 2016. (Dr. _____=Ugh!) - Full time June 18, 2016 (Yeah! finally) - GCS June 27, 2017. (McGinn=Yeah!) - Under Eye repair from FFS 8/17/17 - Nose surgery-November 20, 2017 (Dr. Papel=Yeah) - Hair Transplant on June 21, 2018 (Dr. Cooley-yeah) - Breast Augmentation on July 10, 2018 (Dr. Basner in Baltimore) - Removed bad scarring from FFS surgery near ears and hairline in August, 2018 (Dr. Papel) -Sept. 2018, starting a skin regiment on face with Retin A

]

Offline Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 06:48:27 pm »
@Monica
Dear Monica:
     I see that you have just become a member here and this is your very first posting.   I am glad to see that you finally are taking the plunge and sharing your thoughts here on this thread. 
I see that our lovely member and California Girl  @Jessica  gave you a warm Welcome to Susan's Place along with our other lovely members  @HappyMoni   and  @V M...

    As you post on the forums you will be able to exchange thoughts and comments with others that are experiencing many of the same things that you are.   I expect that you will be getting many members offering their thoughts and suggestions as you continue to post here. 

    This is the right place for you to be to find out what others may have to say that may have been in your circumstances and with your questions and concerns.
    There are a lot of members here that will be able to identify with your situation and as you continue to feel free to share with all of us.
 
    I also want to warmly WELCOME you to Susan's Place
You will find this a safe and friendly place to share with others and to read about others similar trials, tribulations, and successes.

    As you are certainly aware you can share with others and involve yourself with some give and take with other like-minded members.  When frustrated or if you have successes you can share it here if you wish and receive support from others and offer support to others. ....
     ***There is a very good chance that you might find that you will make some new like-minded friends here. 

    Please come in and continue to be involved at your own pace.
   
    Our lovely member Jessica  has attached important and informative LINKS that will help you to navigate around the Forums and will allow you to enjoy the features here.     
Please look closely at the LINKS in RED, answers are there to many questions that new members ask.

Again, Welcome to Susan's Place.
Danielle


Offline Monica

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 08:06:30 pm »
Are you considering transition because of your health history or because you relate mentally to the feminine side of the universe? I am Moni, by the way, short for Monica. Glad you are here.

Hey! We do! That's awesome. Well, first and foremost, I feel like it would help me feel better. This is going to sound strange, but I haven't put a lot of thought into being or feeling feminine. Being and feeling masculine has always taken work though.

It's completely unnatural for me.

When I was in high school, I had to learn how to slouch, I had to learn how men are supposed to speak, making my tone more even monotone, walk (I don't think I ever got that part right). Cis bros still tell me that I walk like a girl. It's been a struggle, and a challenge for me to pull off being a "normal" male presence -- and largely, it's one I've mostly given up on the last few years.

I don't know if I've ever correctly fit the gender mold, and I'm not sure I ever will. But to be perfect honest, I am a little scared of being more openly female. Presenting that way. The world is weird.

I've gotten strange and bitchy looks from men and women when I go out to buy basic supplies like socks and skin cream. Stupid stuff. Men at work will notice and make snide comments that don't technically cross any lines, anywhere I go (unless I come in looking a little off).

And it's not just men, either. Not all cis women are on board with this, and I will hear about it. Although, younger cis women by and large are and have always been fun to hang out with, and very accepting of this kind of thing. The girl who does my laundry, for example put two and two together, and we had a really nice, not out of bounds, talk about it. She wants to take me shopping at goodwill, and help me pick out dresses, which does sound like fun.

Anyway, I think I can deal with the slights and barbs, their varying degrees of subtlety there, but I'm concerned about violence. With masculinity being what it is, a lot of men see the existence of trans women as a problem, and they react in unpredictable ways. I've known men that behave this way. It does exist. If I present honestly from day one, I'm potentially exposed to a world of it, and that makes me nervous.

With my recent body changes, I've had to think more about this. I'm pretty secure and happy with my body. I like having breasts. I like having hips. I feel better about my body now, than I have in years. My shape feels more natural. I'm better at ease in my own skin. But I can't help but be cognizant of the world I live in, and this bizarre place and time we're at, where these issues even exist in the first place.

Maybe I'm overthinking it. I do that. Maybe things around me will look and feel different when my medication gets here, and I kill what's left of this mental fog.


Offline Monica

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2019, 11:08:14 pm »
Hello Ladies,

I thought I would post an update, now that I'm on HRT and that my mind and energy levels have evened out a little, and I'm not feeling as desperate or tired anymore.

So, since the last post, I've been experimenting with supplements. Different combinations of things from different sites. They concentrated soy supplements work the best with the fewest side-effects, and they don't have any magnesium in them by themselves, which is nice. That really kept my mind tenable while I went through this whole ordeal. The brain fog that comes with these problems is intense. It was kind of a tough time, and I'm really sorry if I sounded negative.

Work's been interesting. For the last month, I've been feeling really paranoid. Working hard to cover up my breasts and body shape. There are two people that are entirely too observant, that have been making feel uncomfortable. But I've been gradually getting better at avoiding both of them, so all is well there. In the weird state of mind I was in, I convinced myself that the problem was a lot bigger than it was. So I talked to HR today. Turns out the company I work for, itself, anyway, is actually pretty LGBT+ friendly, which is awesome. I do feel better, and I'm going to stop actively hiding. Maybe, gradually, becoming more outwardly authentic as I work up the courage to do more of it.

I was thrilled to get my package in the mail on Monday. But this time, I'm following some good advice, and not being insane on the dosage. Also listening to my body for anything weird and unexpected. So far, nothing unexpected, but just to be safe, I've radically cut my nicotine intake. And probably for the first time in a decade, my mind is clear. I'm a little sick to my stomach, and still have no appetite at all, but compared to how I felt before, I'm feeling great. Amazing even. My energy has started to come back, interesting things are happening with my breasts, and I'm obviously in a more positive state of mind. Crazy how quick this stuff kicks in.

One thing I thought might be fun to do is see if maybe there might be a way to watch and/or monitor my transformation a little more closely. So I've started keeping morning and evening selfies of me on my phone. I figure if I do this long enough, I should be able to see some changes take shape, and it might be fun to compile it into a video for my friends and family later, when I want to show off. I still look like hell, but this, dear girlfriends, is why god invented skin creams.

I think I might also get my nails done.
We'll see how I feel tomorrow after running errands.

Oh, so interesting breast things: I was really unstable before. With my hormones being as weird as they were, I couldn't maintain a breast size, or make a lot of progress in growing them. Granted, it was pretty cool that they just grew in by themselves to begin with, but they would be up, or down, even almost absent from one day to another, and I found that really disconcerting. Since starting hrt, they've managed to stay at the higher end of my size scale, but they're changing shape. My nipples are sticking out more. They're a little bigger and softer than usual, and they feel like they're growing again, but it's way to soon to tell.

In all, I'm really starting to feel like myself again. And i'm pretty excited about this new lease on life.

Offline Donica

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 09:55:50 am »
Nice to meet you Monica! Welcome to Susan's place.

Hugs.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2017, Full time July 9, 2018.
Started FHR August 9, 2018, Started VFT September 19, 2018, Name and Gender change October 19. 2018.

Offline Sno

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2019, 04:51:56 pm »
Hi Monica,

Welcome to Susan’s :)

It’s lovely that you’ve started your journey, we are hoping that it is with full support from a therapist, as well as your medical team.

We noticed an interesting pattern of language in your updates - something that you may like to talk through with your therapist - it’s unusual to refer to ourselves, as third person plural. You may have noticed that we also do the same - and there are a few of us.

We found Susan’s after 30 years of that persistent nagging pain from the undesirables, and have spent some considerable time to understand our situation, and ourselves.

So, pull up a seat, and make yourselves comfortable.

(Hugs)


Rowan

Offline Monica

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Re: Wanted to introduce myself and thank the community.
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 05:46:21 pm »
We noticed an interesting pattern of language in your updates - something that you may like to talk through with your therapist - it’s unusual to refer to ourselves, as third person plural. You may have noticed that we also do the same - and there are a few of us.

Never really thought about it, honestly. I have a weird way of communicating. You can't tell by listening, but english is actually my second language. I speak three of them, two are effectively ethnic languages, which aren't very useful stateside. The way my brain seems to work, is that there's context for it. Sometimes, third party plural makes more sense to me. Sometimes, self is omitted completely, like the beginning of this response. Sometimes, I use first party singular. It just depends on what's being said. But you're very observant. :) Thanks for noticing.

I'll be seeing a doctor as soon as we get home.

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