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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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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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Topical forms of T in Australia

16 Apr

I recently answered a voicemail message from someone seeking information about topical forms of T available in Australia – in particular what info to give to their pharmacist who doesn’t seem to have a clue.

So with some searching and asking I received the following info that I have been given permission to share:

The three topical forms of T available in Australia are Testogel (comes in sachets, included in the PBS; messy and I found it didn’t absorb so well), Axiron (roller applied underarm – new last year on PBS, haven’t tried it) and then AndroForte/AndroFemme, available from http://www.lawleydirect.com.au (cream, seems to absorb pretty well).

The first two should be available everywhere even if the pharmacist has to order it (see http://www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/8830R and http://www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/2341F), whereas AndroForte is only available in Western Australia but they ship it (I’ve been doing this and it’s worked fine). If it’s not possible to get T on Medicare due to gender marker issues, then AndroForte may be significantly cheaper on a per dose basis.

* I don’t use topical cream personally, so the comments are not mine.

Low dose vs. high dose

19 Feb

I went to the Dr today to have a chat about my T levels since starting the upped dose of 200mg from my half dosage of 125mg. My last blood tests from Dec ’14 show that my testosterone levels are higher (12?) than my previous tests where the were at a 9. He informed me that they like T levels to be around 14(?) as these are within the ‘normal’ male range. Of course this range is to continue masculinizing effects…so what about me?

I upped my dose a few months ago to see if it would change my energy levels and libido. Since the end of last year I have taken some time off over Christmas so feel rested – is it the T or the break that helped me feel less tired? In-between all of this my libido hasn’t changed, I’ve never felt that urge that other trans* guys talk about. One worry is my hairy back and how much hair I am loosing in the shower! To add to this list is whether my voice will change if I stop T all together, as in will it get a little higher? A big reason I don’t want to stop T completely at the moment is not wanting to deal with having a period again.

For now I am staying on the same 200mg dose for another three six shots and then have a blood test.

 

 

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 20

17 Jan

How has your relationship with the cisgender people in your life changed?

I am not sure that my relationship with the cisgender people in my life has changed that much, then again now I think about it I think it actually has.

Before I started T cisgender people who aren’t queer in my life saw me as a lesbian/dyke, while those who were part of the LGBTI/queer community too saw me as androgynous/tomboy, female.  Now, I feel queer cisgender people see me as trans* or ‘different’ because they hear my voice has changed or that I have facial hair.  Non-queer cisgender people, such as family and work colleagues, see me still as possibly as a lesbian but I don’t really know because I dare not think or ask what they see in me. So in a way I’ve pulled away from some people because they don’t understand and in a way I don’t know what to say or how to explain.

I feel I can’t be genderqueer around my queer cisgender friends or acquaintances because they don’t ‘get’ what it means. I can’t be trans* because in their eyes it means transition from one gender to another. With non-queer cisgender people I feel like a freak. I cannot explain who I am or who I want to be. I shave before I go to work just so they don’t notice my facial hair too much.

I’ve always had a small group of friends, however I feel starting T and changing has caused me to pull away from people who don’t understand. Yet I ask how can other understand when I don’t make a point to stop and explain?

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge