Author Topic: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last  (Read 13438 times)

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Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #320 on: August 04, 2021, 12:55:13 am »
Randi, your willingness to endure pain in three and four-hour lumps is a clear indicator of your deep need to transition. You truly are on the right road. Is FFS on your road too?
If I do any surgery, FFS would likely be the first. Well maybe an orchie too.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the woman behind my face, when the light and angles are just right. I want more of that. Gotta give the E some more time to work first though.

My electrologist subscribes to the Calm Masterclasses, and we've been enjoying listening to them. She actually looks forward to our sessions because they're long enough to get through a couple classes. Sometimes I fall asleep for awhile (they ARE called Calm ). One gem from a recent class about mindful eating stuck with us both. Slow down, don't be loading up the fork with the next bite while you're still chewing. Put the fork down and finish what you already have in your mouth before you decide whether to take another bite.

I finished my financial disclosures for the divorce early this morning (4 AM!). What a difficult, detailed task. I don't recommend it. I've been fairly absent around here while I focused on that. Glad to get it behind me.

Sunday I took one of my last long runs before my race up Pikes Peak on the 21st. I ran ("ran" lol means mostly walking) up to around 11,500' at timberline. At that point there are 3 miles left to the summit, all in the Alpine tundra. It's beautiful up there, but also hellishly difficult as you fight the lack of oxygen. I feel pretty ready. Confident I'll at least finish under the cutoffs anyway. One of my goals entering this year, after a 7 year absence, is to have fun however obscurely you might define fun in an endeavor like this. It will be my 20th race since I was in my 20's. And easily the slowest, both due to age and due to my effective HRT.

I tripped and fell while running down but luckily it was the least damaging fall I've had. My shirt will never look the same lol

Since I started from home the whole thing wound up being around 23 miles. It was the second time I've forgotten to bring a mask along, or I could have skipped the first and last 2 miles by taking a bus. Now I've put the mask on the hook with my water pack!

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #321 on: August 04, 2021, 06:44:27 am »
I too am glad you're done with the financial disclosures. There's relief in finishing an icky task.

You might be wise in waiting on FFS to allow estrogen to accumulate its changes first.

23 miles of climbing and descending??? WOW! You are fit!

Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #322 on: August 04, 2021, 11:30:24 pm »
A friend posted on Twitter this morning about trans women competing in the Olympics. This is of course controversial, especially in the case of weightlifting.

I don't think many people, including myself, really have a good awareness of our testosterone levels compared to sports standards. Here are some notes I made for myself:

Total T is measured in ng/dL in the US, nmoles/L or nmol/L internationally. To convert total testosterone from ng/dL to nmol/L (SI units), multiply the value in ng/dL by 0.0347. To convert free testosterone from pg/mL to pmol/L (SI units), multiply the value in pg/mL by 3.47. Most sports specify maximum total T levels for women of either 5 or 10 nmol/L (about 144 or 288 ng/dL respectively). This is more than an order of magnitude higher than my level (9 ng/dL) in June 2021. Women are usually considered T deficient below 0.9nmol/L (about 26ng/dL).

So these athletes may well be functioning with T levels at or below those of cis women. After a year (the legal minimum) or more of HRT, I doubt they have many advantages. And the heavier, denser skeleton of a person AMAB is often a disadvantage in sports.

I hope to compete next year in the female category.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.
Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #323 on: August 05, 2021, 12:25:46 am »
It depends on the sport whether denser bones are an advantage.  In weight lifting, it probably is.  Then again, the top women weight lifters are probably well above average in none density also.  It goes with the stress of lifting. 

Also, bone density isn’t static.  It isn’t a lifelong thing.  Estrogen and low T will make the transwoman’s bone density go down too.  How quickly?  I don’t know.  In one year?  It would be interesting to study.  Why don’t people study these questions?

I have read multiple articles as to how the IOC came up with their present standards.  I think they made reasonable efforts to protect fairness without prejudice.  Can it be tweaked based on research?  Sure.  But, someone will have to do the research.

Offline Maddie

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #324 on: August 05, 2021, 05:19:31 am »
Randi it sounds like you have a wonderful electrolygist. 
At least makes the painful progress more bearable.

I'm also impressed by your high altitude runs!

Last Sept I did a local, not 2mile-high, flat, 5k.  They reached out to me later, and said they had a ribbon for me....1st in my age group (women's).  I was too embarrassed to go pick it up, because of popular sentiments like those being discussed about unfair advantages.  Wouldn't want to rile anyone up, or take unfair advantage.  I'm on HRT, no blocker, low T, and scheduled for surgeries. I look kind of like a woman and pass sometimes.

Good luck at Pikes Peak.
Don't forget your mask ;)

Offline SaraSerenity

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #325 on: August 05, 2021, 08:09:42 pm »
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the woman behind my face, when the light and angles are just right.

I feel you here. I think we are often more critical of ourselves than others are; we see little things in the mirror that others don’t see. In your picture, I see the woman you are right there on the surface, and also shining behind those eyes. She’s beautiful. I hope you remind her … you … of that often. <3

Divorce sucks. I’ve been through it too, though of course in different circumstances; mine came before I discovered my gender identity. I empathize with the turmoil you are going through. Though I believe it will be better in time, right now it is not, and all the feelings you have are perfectly valid. Feel them, take the time to process them and to mourn. Remember what was good about your marriage, and know that even wonderful things have their season. When feelings of guilt come, as they very well may, talk them out or do whatever you have to do, because those come from a place or an attachment that is no longer yours.

It sucks, really bad. And eventually it will get better. Hopefully someday the happy memories will not clash in a dysphoric way with your new reality. But I expect that will take time to get to.
For now, Chopwood, carry water, place 1 foot in front of the other, and keep going with your transition. We are here for you.

Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #326 on: August 07, 2021, 01:49:47 pm »
@Oldandcreaky @Rachel Montgomery @Maddie @SaraSerenity
Thank you for your support and your thoughts everyone. I really appreciate your presence here. The sense of community keeps me coming back.

Maddie, I know what you mean about feeling ambivalent about winning an award as a woman. One year when I was in my 20s I trained with and finished just ahead of the female overall winner on Pikes Peak. Not that I'm anywhere near that level of performance now, and the women have gotten faster at the elite level. Nevertheless I pondered this and looked up the results for women my age over the past few years. I don't really know how I'll do this year, but rough predictions put me well behind the top females in my age group. That's reassuring in an obscure way.

I suppose this is a bit of internal transphobia speaking to me. I know I should be proud and own myself. Hopefully all of us can get there.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline Pammie

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #327 on: August 07, 2021, 02:29:02 pm »
A friend posted on Twitter this morning about trans women competing in the Olympics. This is of course controversial, especially in the case of weightlifting.

I don't think many people, including myself, really have a good awareness of our testosterone levels compared to sports standards. Here are some notes I made for myself:

Total T is measured in ng/dL in the US, nmoles/L or nmol/L internationally. To convert total testosterone from ng/dL to nmol/L (SI units), multiply the value in ng/dL by 0.0347. To convert free testosterone from pg/mL to pmol/L (SI units), multiply the value in pg/mL by 3.47. Most sports specify maximum total T levels for women of either 5 or 10 nmol/L (about 144 or 288 ng/dL respectively). This is more than an order of magnitude higher than my level (9 ng/dL) in June 2021. Women are usually considered T deficient below 0.9nmol/L (about 26ng/dL).

So these athletes may well be functioning with T levels at or below those of cis women. After a year (the legal minimum) or more of HRT, I doubt they have many advantages. And the heavier, denser skeleton of a person AMAB is often a disadvantage in sports.

I hope to compete next year in the female category.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.
My view is that it’s unrealistic to believe we can remove the advantages of the wrong puberty though E and reducing T alone. When I did  the Manchester run in 2019 I looked at the results for my age and gender and saw I was top 5% but knew that wasn’t a level playing field. I certainly would never seek to compete with cis-women because I believe I have physical advantages. Just my view.

Offline SaraSerenity

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #328 on: August 09, 2021, 01:40:14 pm »
Randi, thank you for your message.  I actually teach at CNM, which is Central New Mexico Community College.  I am rarely at UNM.  But since your son teaches geophysics, I wonder if we know someone in common.  About 10-12 years ago I sang in a Renaissance choir with someone who at the time was a postdoc at UNM in planetary science.  (She now studies Mars at Los Alamos National Labs.)

Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #329 on: August 19, 2021, 01:20:02 am »
I've been away from Susan's for most of the past couple of weeks. Partly because I spent last week at a Roots Music Camp in the mountains. And partly I think I just needed a break.

At my electrolysis session Monday I experienced an interesting recasting of the pain as something else. Hard to describe; I don't even understand it myself. I think maybe it was related to a meditative state. I was still present and it was still painful. But it didn't bother me. It only lasted for a few minutes. I'll have to see if I can get there again tomorrow.

Doing this twice a week has some interesting effects. I can only shave twice a week, so most days I have stubble. But progress is quicker, even accounting for the hours spent. It's because she can get all the fresh hairs that are growing and hence susceptible to being killed off. She spent a good part of Monday revisiting all the previously cleared areas and killing the new hairs. I hope this means that tomorrow she can spend most of her time clearing new areas. We're down to a thin line of stubble along the jawline at the bottom of my face, after which we go under the jaw and down the neck. We've already cleared all the dark hairs in visible areas, so what's left hardly shows if I shave it.

I'm going to delay my public coming out at work until October. In part because I don't want to be displaying my stubble face. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they sent us all back to working from home before too long. Everything is subject to so many variables we can't control. We just have to be patient and do our own parts to keep others healthy. And live our lives as happily as we can.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline Emma1017

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #330 on: August 20, 2021, 05:57:45 am »


Randi I am jealous of your progress.  I stopped electrolysis during the start of the pandemic and I hope to restart in September.  You are right, the pain is miserable but there is something cathartic knowing your male beard is methodically being removed.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #331 on: August 29, 2021, 12:51:05 am »

Randi I am jealous of your progress.  I stopped electrolysis during the start of the pandemic and I hope to restart in September.  You are right, the pain is miserable but there is something cathartic knowing your male beard is methodically being removed.
Hi Emma, you're right, beard removal is a major antidote to dysphoria.

We got the line down below the jawline and she began work on my chin which has all virgin, thick hairs ow! Now she's on vacation and I'm going to be gone for 3 weeks so I can't resume until October. She did make a pass to eliminate all the dark hairs again, so when I shave there's not much visible.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.
Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #332 on: August 29, 2021, 01:16:50 am »
I've not been on Susan's much lately. A lot of threads that I follow have gotten away from me with 20 or 30 unread posts. I'll probably have to skip ahead.

I think I'm feeling more connected to people in real life, and thus spending less time online. For sure a big factor is that we all came in to the office beginning August 3rd. This has both increased my social interactions and reduced my free time. I find it ironic that I'm actually less productive in the office because of these increased social interactions. Yes, some are work related and we get some good progress that way. But most are really just social. Social connection is good and I appreciate it. But if management thinks we will be more productive in the office, at least for me this isn't the case. I understand some people have young children, small living spaces or noisy families. But for me, home is an ideal work environment.

I finished my Pikes Peak Ascent race last Saturday. I thought I knew what to expect, given my recent workouts and my 19 previous races. Wrong!!! I couldn't get enough oxygen above 12,000 feet. While to some extent this is normal and expected, it was way worse than my workouts had led me to anticipate. I was literally stumbling and grabbing rocks for balance. I have never done this before. Once I nearly fell off the side of the trail and two passing runners grabbed me.

I'm going to chalk it up to my transition, although age certainly plays a part as well, since it had been 6 years since I last did the race. Still I managed to finish only 10 minutes behind my goal, in 4:40:17.

My secondary goal was to have fun. While I did ok at that for the first 10 miles, I completely failed to have fun in the last 3 miles. My program, such as it is, is to enter one more time, next year, as a woman. I'll have to focus a lot more on the fun part. I think that will require slowing my walking pace considerably.

Life continues to grant me such great learning opportunities

Here's a picture taken by a friend just before the finish line.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline davina61

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #333 on: August 29, 2021, 02:53:19 am »
That looks rough going dear, yes loss of strength due to HRT, tell me! I struggled to turn the chassis over (with help) for the Austin yesterday.
a long time coming (out) HRT 12 2017


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Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #334 on: September 05, 2021, 12:39:50 am »
Saw my primary care doctor yesterday for routine follow-up to my annual metabolic blood tests. Everything was very good.

We also discussed my troubles at high altitude on Pikes Peak. I told him my T levels, which are quite low. He pointed out that T helps produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen, so he was not surprised at what happened. A friend who is a Physicians Assistant says that women in general have 15% less oxygen capacity all other things being equal.

Of more concern to me, my doc said that since osteopenia runs in my family and I am thus at risk, I really need to get my T level up into a normal female range. He said that T is important to prevent osteoporosis.

But I thought strong E levels could also protect bones? Can't I have female E levels and be ok regardless of T, or do I also need my T up into female levels? I'll ask my HRT doc about all this.

I'm headed for a 12 day bike tour with a guy friend in Bavaria, Germany. We arranged it back last spring when Covid levels were dropping and it seemed like it would be ok. Now I feel like we're skating on thin ice, but the restrictions are holding at levels that will allow us to go ahead. I think Germany is actually a safer place to be than my home county. Germany lets us avoid quarantine because we're vaccinated. We are flying via Iceland, which just added a Covid test requirement a few days ago. I was able to get a drive through PCR test this morning and lo and behold my result came through this evening: negative. My friend Tim is travelling and had to pay $250 for a 1 hour test at the airport this morning.

Will be interesting to see how the vibe is for trans people in Germany. What I've heard is that it's very accepting. My experience traveling in other countries is that they sort of ignore what tourists do anyway. I just hope Tim doesn't get flagged as weird for hanging out with an obvious transwoman.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #335 on: September 05, 2021, 01:01:14 am »
@RandiL
Dear Randi:
Thank you for posting your update.
It was quite interesting to read what you stated regarding your Pikes Peak adventure,
high altitude oxygen levels, T levels, etc.

I am glad that your PCR Covid test result came back as Negative...
...now you can go ahead with your 12 day bike tour with a in Bavaria, Germany

Just for the record I have been running marathons, charity runs for many years... and my pre-HRT
times and my pre-HRT stamina were always very good.... but now several years after transitioning
and going full time I am falling short of my previous running times and I have reduced stamina for sure.

I am not about to take more T to get my T levels up for any of those reasons.

I will be looking forward to your updates and pictures as you feel comfortable posting them.

HUGS and best wishes as always....   have a safe trip, stay safe and healthy.
Danielle

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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #336 on: September 05, 2021, 07:42:43 am »



I just hope Tim doesn't get flagged as weird for hanging out with an obvious transwoman.


Any old transwoman? Nah.

I hope you enjoy your trip, Randi. It's beautiful countryside.
"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

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Whiny HRT and Transition Blog: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244163.msg2217618.html

Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline RandiL

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #337 on: September 15, 2021, 02:03:11 am »
We're halfway through our cycling tour in Bavaria. Weather has been beautiful so far, although it is forecast to begin raining this afternoon and continue through the next couple of days. Tomorrow is our longest day, 85km, so that will be a fun challenge haha.

It is indeed beautiful countryside. Lots of agriculture including the attendant smells

I wear a women's jersey and a black skort while riding. No one ever comments, or if they do I don't understand lol. I definitely get some looks, but never anything that feels rude. Maybe we stand out anyway, although there are lots of cyclists around here. In any event this feels like a safe environment.

We are riding ebikes which helps the kilometers pass, especially on the big hills. It's my first experience with an ebike, and I'm happy with it. Very heavy machine however.

My smartphone thinks it's smarter than me. It's probably right.

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline Jessica_Rose

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Re: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last
« Reply #338 on: September 15, 2021, 06:01:01 am »
It's nice to hear that your trip is going so well. Hopefully the weather stays nice.

Love always -- Jessica Rose

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