“Welcome to puberty!”

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I must be going trough an explosive growth phase or something right now. I suffer from the unquenchable hunger of a fast growing teenage boy; I just can’t eat enough and I’m always hungry. This is new, I haven’t felt like this before. Six months in on hormone treatment I’ve turned in to some sort of moody, starving monster. I need to eat almost every other hour and I don’t feel full very long after a meal so it keeps me busy just trying to keep up.

Being hungry all the time makes me frustrated, short tempered, soon to anger and low on energy. Come to think of it, I really hope that these mood swings I’ve been having lately are caused by hunger and not depression or related to seasonal changes. Maybe it is just a poor excuse to friends and loved ones, but something is definitely going on here.

I can clearly see that my body makes good use for all the extra fuel. I’m growing larger and building on muscle mass in an unprecedented scale, presenting a whole different body type. My voice is much deeper. Facial- and body hair is now a thing – remarkably impractical and uncomfortable, but still somewhat reassuring.

Sadly the “getting better from depression- curve” has reached some sort of plateau, I’m constantly tired, gloomy, bored and frustrated. I sort of feel that I need to do something soon, other hanging around at home every day, doing little chores and crafts, not going anywhere but to the gym. The general lack of plans for the future is itching, but I can’t seem to muster the energy and initiative to change anything.

Regarding my medical transition, not much has happened lately. It’s been a month since I met my speech therapist the first time and I’ve been working more actively with my voice technique, with good result. Otherwise, nothing. But next week is for some reason unbelievably crowded with interesting meetings and important doctors appointments.

On Monday I’ll go to Stockholm and the speech therapist again. Tuesday is the day for A Very Important Meeting with the chief physician I’ve been seeing during my entire investigation. Every meeting with him is sort of a milestone. I hope he will finally agree to help me apply for a change of juridical gender so I can get proper ID-papers and such. That would really help me forward from where I am now.

Wednesday is physiotherapist-day. I hope to get some advice on how to work out to spare my inflamed biceps-tendon if it’s not better by then. I also want to find out how I best re-gain mobility in the chest area. I seem to have gotten a bit stiff from growing too fast and not stretching enough after working out. My bad, but I can’t have that if I’m up for chest surgery soon.

Next Thursday I’m actually meeting the surgeon who will preform my mastectomy. If I like him and what he has to suggest, that is. Later in the afternoon I have an appointment with a dietitian about my most urgent problem right now. I hope to get some clever advice on how to not die of starvation in a near future and what I should think of now when my body actually works very different from what I’ve been used to. If I’m lucky, that might help me with both constant hunger, mood swings and general gloominess.

 

 

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Angry survivor – five months on testosterone

Five months on testosterone now and my hormone should have reached levels within the normal range for cisgenderd men. I’ve had my first 3 injections. If I live to be 90 years old and treatment continues the same way, I’ll have another 350 intramuscular injections or so to look forward to.

The treatment is working and I can’t even begin to express the difference it has done. I’m feeling so, so much better now. Very simplified it feels like I’m becoming a super hero version of myself; stronger, happier and healthier than ever. But considering how low I was before treatment I suppose that I’m actually more like getting closer to some sort of decent level of existing, a reasonable quality of life-baseline.

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Climbing the walls.

I had to wait forever to get access to treatment. When I think of how close it was, I get so angry for all that pointless waiting and suffering. Nothing provokes me as much as when people (mostly doctors or nurses) out of pure ignorance says something like “Oh, you have decided to start hormone treatment now?” Yeah. I decided. I know hormones are not for everyone and not all transgenderd people want to have them. But it’s not like I just decided and then got a prescription paper in my hand the same day. I almost died while I was waiting for medical treatment.

But one morning a few weeks back I woke up and realised that I was not in fact going to die out of depression, not this time. I have survived the worst part of my journey, just barely and there is a long way still to go. But I’m getting better. Some days I’m mostly so full of energy that I’m basicly climbing the walls. Soon I’ll have to do something about that, find a direction in life again, take up my studies or some sort of employment. I’m not there yet, but that day is steadily getting closer.

Morphing phase

The time since my last post has been challenging and rather eventful. My body is in a testosterone induced state of speedy morphing and it turns out that this part of transitioning is much more difficult and strenuous than I had imagined. Six weeks on T and I’ve literally turned in to a 32 year old teenager.

I’ve been totally exhausted and gained a fresh understanding of what it is like to be a growing teenager. Struggling to get out of bed, getting things done in time, eating proper healthy food and keep a civilised tone towards other people at all times (no matter how much they annoy you). I see now that it is not about being lazy, because I’m really not. Neither am I lacking the morale or experience and the discipline it takes to do things “the adult way”. I used to manage just fine, but things are different now.

Being a teenager is as I remember it (among other things) about getting to know a body that is changing and experiencing the world from a slightly different perspective than you did before. I have discovered that being a “transgender teenager” is somewhat similar, only much more intense. It’s about growing in such a pace that you really, really crave food with the highest possible energy and calorie content. (I’ve had mad cravings for pizza and milk chocolate.) It’s about struggling to get out of bed in the morning, one or two meals behind what your body needs to function as you didn’t get up and eat in the night. And then there are the mood swings due to swaying hormone levels in combination with the lack of understanding from the part of the world who rightfully have other things on their mind than your feelings and what state you are in…

Today I got my second T-injection and I’m very curious about what effects it will have, since the experience was so overwhelming the last time. I actually noticed that it was time for a refill. I’ve been rather moody the last few days and something felt slightly amiss. It reminds me of how I experienced PMS before, except it doesn’t hurt because I wont bleed again. Thanks to the testosterone my body is over and done with that and it may be the best thing that has ever happened to me. PERIOD IS PERIOD!

Also, the spectra of feelings I go trough is slightly different compared to my old pissy PMS. Testosterone doesn’t change your personality, but it enhances certain drives or emotional responses. For instance I now tend to get more angry or irritated for things that used to make me feel sad and low. Off course it could also be that I feel empowered and more emotionally energetic because things finally are going my way, or a combination of both.

Other things that has changed since my last post is that I’ve just recently gotten the appetite I need to keep my body going a bit better than the first few weeks. Now when I’ve unlocked the ability to eat more than I’m used to, I hope I’ll feel less exhausted. Other news is that my voice now is totally out of control, varying wildly between really dark and almost like before T. I literally never know what will come out when I open my mouth to say something and it can be embarrassing, but it is also really cool how deep it sounds sometimes!

Not all trans men on hormone treatment are happy with how their voices end up after “puberty”. How dark or deep someone’s voice will become is hard to predict beforehand and differ from one case to another. After a year or so the voice has “landed” and become more stable. Most guys are satisfied and have voices that doesn’t differ from other adult males or in the higher range of what is common. But some feel that their “new” voice sound to feminine, still too high pitched or worry that it makes them sound to young for their age. Some are missgenderd because of it and that can be both impractical and offensive, not to mention the general patriarchal tendency to not take people with high pitched voices seriously.

I hope that I’m not one of the unlucky ones as my voice will be an important tool for me in my profession as a speech- and language pathologist. But I am a bit worried about that it could happen. I’m so small compared to my peers and there is a scientifically documented correlation between the collar-size/neck circumference in “female-to-male transsexuals” and deepening of voice due to testosterone treatment. Only time will tell if I’m an exception from this tendency or if all my voice training from school can help to compensate. Right now, there seem to be no reason to worry.

To sum it up so far – I’ve been feeling extremely exhausted and I need to eat a lot more and more often. My period is gone. My voice is shaky and my emotional responses are slightly different compared to before T. But the most dramatic changes are physical and clearly visible for others.

I’ve gotten a whole new profile, much more masculine. IMAG6285 But first impression is not as much “male” yet as ” teenage boy” or maybe more like “ambitious androgynous gym rat”. My upper body is so much wider, I’m all shoulders and arms now and it’s really cool how fast that happened. But I’m not only getting bigger, parts of me are also melting away. My silhouette is getting thinner, contours sharper. Waist straightening out, breasts almost gone, thighs, hips and butt are… different. Private parts are private, so I’ll say no more than that major changes have been noted. I’ve also gotten a bit more face- and body hair. I’ve never liked the look or feeling of my own body hair, but I strongly suspect that it will be something I’ll have to learn to live with in the near future.

All things considered, I like most of the effects of the testosterone so far. But it is more than a little stressful and scary that my entire body is morphing so unbelievably fast.