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Hypothyroidism Version 2

1 Aug

This is a long-awaited update about my current health issues with fatigue, my thyroid, sleep apnea and being on Testosterone.

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Menstruation vs. Testosterone

30 Jul

After almost four-weeks since my last injection of T, while thinking about ‘quitting’ and wondering how my body was going to react I relented and went to the Dr’s. It was a pain as I had to drive into the city, on my day off , for a 10-15 minute appointment. I’d been having cramps for approximately a week and had stopped taking the Finasteride because it seemed to be causing a rash/outbreak of pimples on my forehead. I saw another doctor at the clinic as mine was not due to be back from leave until 10th August. I managed to have a good talk about the Finasteride, thoughts of stopping T, cramps and the anxiety of having to re-experience monthly periods.

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No one like me

8 Jul

I went to this month’s Genderqueer Australia (GQA) gathering, which was small but cozy. I chatted a while about my physical and mental health, reason for starting T and thoughts about stopping, and ended up with feeling a little lighter for sharing but still unsure about my decisions. The highlight of my day was discovering Janitorqueer’s blog and Tumbler.

I was advised to re-visit Neutrois Nonsense who touches on low-dose testosterone and being hypothyroid. I have to say what an amazing blog/resource it is, I wish I had discovered it 3+ years ago when I was starting on my own hormone journey. I find it a challenging read however as it talks about hysterectomies and top surgery – both things I have thought about but chosen not to do at present. I am find it really difficult to think about stopping T (see previous post for reasons why), and while researching online can be helpful it doesn’t provide me with a forum to talk it out face-to-face with someone [who understands my particular journey]. There are people I could talk to over a nice cup of Chai, but I don’t because a) they are busy, b) there’s a personality clash or c) I don’t know the person well enough to approach them.

I did however have some success over the last few weeks. For starters my Sleep Apnea is slowly being managed and monitored, which will hopefully mean a gradual increase in energy levels and a decrease in fatigue. Secondly, my current GP confirmed that I may in fact had been misdiagnosed with hypothyroidism and to stop my current medication for a month so we can do a comparative blood test. Lastly, I was prescribed a quarter dose of Finasteride per day to see if that helps with the hair loss. Small victories.

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Questioning stopping T

20 Jun

Lately I’ve been thinking about changing to T Gel, reducing my dose or stopping all together. The reasons for this are mostly to do with recent health issues and the anxiety I feel about hair loss/thinning.

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That ‘time’ of the ‘month’

30 Dec

I stopped getting a monthly menstrual cycle after three-moths of being on T. I’ve occasionally had period-like cramps, especially when I’ve been late or missed my next shot of T.

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When Dr’s don’t understand

3 Dec

Yesterday I had my first negative experience with a GP around my gender identity and choice to be taking Testosterone.

I went to my local GP, who I’ve seen a handful of times, to try and get to the bottom of my extreme fatigue. I normally travel into the city to see a trans-aware GP at Northside Clinic (and I can now understand why one might be unable to see their local/normal GP). My local GP would have most of my records since 1995 and I still utilise them if I have a bug/virus or other concerns not relating to taking T.

A few month back I visited another local clinic where I go to the physiotherapist and who share their records with the other medical clinic, and started seeing a new GP. Dr R, who I had explained everything to, was initially surprised by me informing him that I was on T and asked questions like “Why do you take testosterone?”, “Was this done though a reputable GP?” and “Where do you get your prescription for T from?”. Although he wasn’t too up to date with individuals who transition or are taking T, he was friendly and willing to explore this ongoing tiredness that I was experiencing. Just recently Dr R left the medical practice and I was left to try and find another GP to continue these investigations with.

So yesterday I made an appointment to see a GP I felt I could open up to and talk to about this fatigue. I got in to see the Dr at 10am and from when I sat down I felt something was a little odd – he wasn’t making eye contact with me or seem to be very interested. I explained why I was there and that I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism since approx 2012 and have been on the same dose of medication for the past year or so. His first question was to ask about my diet, “Do you eat meat?” he asked, to which I replied that I am mostly vegetarian and had a balanced diet and no history of anemia. The second question was about my menstrual cycle, which I explained I haven’t had for the past two years. Well that set him off on a tangent of “Well that isn’t normal! What do you mean you haven’t had a period?” etc. I was of course quick to explain that I have been on a low-dose of T for the past 2.5yrs and that my menstrual cycle stopped shortly after that. I had obviously said the wrong thing as he began to become very agitated and stated that “That shouldn’t happen, even on a low dose” followed on by “Why would any GP prescribe a normal health woman with testosterone?” and how over time it would have masculinising effects, which is where I said “Yes I know, it is what I am wanting”. From there the GP didn’t settle and seemed unable to hear anything else I was saying. It was then when I felt this huge wave of panic, wondering why I hadn’t just gone to Northside and avoided being treated like an ignorant person with no common sense.

Throughout the consultation I explained that I had gone through a GP, seen an endocrinologist and had regular blood tests. He eventually got up from his seat and rather exasperatedly stated he had only seen me a handful of times and knew nothing about this kind of stuff. After a quick poke and a listen to my lungs he seemed to focus onto my sleep and suggested that if after blood tests, an ECG and X-ray there was no clear cause to my tiredness that he would order a sleep study. Here I was inquiring about my Thyroid levels, wondering if I could tweak my medication and all this GP is obsessed about is my sleep, not having a menstrual cycle and taking T!

I did some investigating today and received some very useful advice via some of online blogs I visit and post to. I will be getting all my results yesterday and will raise the possibility of me changing my Thyroid medication dose a little – even a small tweak could help.

Hypothyroidism + Low-dose T

10 Nov

I am seeking other trans guys and genderqueers with a low thyroid to so we can discuss and compare the effects of hormones on how we are.

A little bit about me: Around the same time as I started a low-dose of testosterone, 2+ years ago, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid). I am currently on 75 micrograms of thyroxine daily and 125mg of Primoteston every 3-4 weeks.

Taking T or Thyroxine hasn’t helped with my energy levels, and just recently I found out that my loss of hair could not only be due to testosterone, but also because I have an under-active thyroid! I tried speaking with my doctor, endocrinologist and other sufferers of Hypothyroidism but have always found that I cannot talk about being on T and Thyroxine – no one gets it!

Reducing T and sexual health

21 Apr

I’ve gone back to half-a-dose of T every 3-4 weeks (depends on how busy I am) and want to ideally stay on this or lower. I’ve contemplated using the gel/cream but I am worried that I will start getting a monthly cycle again, and that’s the one reason I am staying on the injections. Being on a higher dose did make me less tired but it also made me realise how much hair I was loosing (correlation or not) and also questioning why I was staying on T almost two-years on. It is so hard not knowing what this stuff is doing to me now and what effect it will have on my future. I am really thankfull of friends who are in a similar position to me and the various blogs I follow. This has kind of given me a bit of idea however, maybe a way to collect this info and be able to share it with others.

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Questioning T

24 Jun

I missed the first FTM Shed gathering yesterday because I am still trying to get over my cold and was exhausted after attempting to walk around South Yarra, Prahan and Windsor. There was also a part of me that wasn’t too sure about going as I don’t identify as FTM or masculine identified. I wanted to go because I wanted to find someone else like me, but as I scrolled through the Facebook event list I saw ‘guys’ and ‘men’. I still don’t feel like one of the group and I think I never will be. I didn’t sign-up for hormones because I wanted to belong to a community, but I guess it would have been nice. Well there is always the next one…

Two-weeks ago I took a week off work, which meant I had three days off. What was supposed to be a relaxing week turned out to reveal that I was in fact burning out and was feeling a little low. I needed to withdraw from everything and everyone in order to feel stable again. I don’t feel I am quite there yet but the time off, plus last week when I had a cold, has given me enough energy to battle on. The reason why I mention this here is that it affected how I see my genderqueerness and how I related to it as well.

Over the past two months, where a lot happened, I gradually felt myself decline. I complained that I was constantly tired, couldn’t sleep well and found it hard to concentrate. During that time I also didn’t feel like I was ‘me’, meaning that my gender/genderqueerness was of no importance when needed to survive seemed to overwhelm me. I was a little confused when I realized this – was my identity and taking T even important anymore? I missed T shots, was overdue for others and thought “why do I both?” when I did. I am still struggling a little and still have the questions of “why is this so important?” when it is so easy to put it on the back burner?

Before going to bed last night I noticed that two-weeks of facial hair growth was obvious enough to me to have to do something about it. Annoyance mixed with disgust battled for attention as I took my hair clippers to my chin and sideburns. I was worried what people at work would think of a ‘chick’ with tits having facial hair. In my mind I was worried that facial hair wasn’t for me – unwanted side effects of T. I knew I would get facial hair, I got excited about it, I didn’t mind it, but now that I am getting a beard I am wondering if this is it? There is a lot more I could explore, like do I have an stopping point or what other changes am I wanting, what would I do if I continue and grow a beard? All questions asked of me pre-T, but I couldn’t answer because I had no experience. I wonder how many other people ask these questions of themselves…

I can say what I am happy with and what I want: deeper voice, some facial hair, no menstruation, being seen as more masculine, increased sex drive… I wonder if I can cope with the hair growth stuff? I mean, that seems to be the only thing really making me question taking T at the moment, but what is a bit of facial hair!?

T update

22 May

I am still on half a dose of Primoteston Depot 250 (injection) every 2-3 weeks.

Please note some of the content may not be suitable for individuals under 18 years of age.

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