Testosterone Update

Hello friends!

I’ve been just working and enjoying the summer here in Chicago.  After a few days of sweltering heat and humidity we’ve gotten a break and today is looking to be a beautiful one in the high 70s.

So what’s up?

Well, I’ve noticed an uptick in my anxiety levels, so I went to Josh over at Howard Brown.  We talked about SSRIs, and I tried one (Zoloft), but decided I was jumping the gun with meds.  I want to try to control the anxiety with more cardio, some morning yoga, and some meditation and breathing exercises.  Also, I’ve started back to my therapist once a week, instead of every other week.  I don’t have a good routine down yet for all these methods, but I do notice I feel a little relief after practicing each one.  And so that is encouraging.

I also asked Josh to lower my testosterone dosage: .3 ml was keeping me in the high range of normal–I thought maybe my body would feel more comfortable going through these changes at a slightly lower pace.  So I started .2 ml injections this past Thursday, and will return to Josh in three weeks to have my levels checked again.

Remember boys, your dosage, and your pace, and your whole transition is in your hands.  If you don’t feel good, or something doesn’t feel right, talk to your doctor, and tell him what you are comfortable with and what you are uncomfortable with: if he doesn’t listen, he’s not the right doctor.  Fortunately for me, Josh is a smart guy with good suggestions, so when I told him I wanted to lower my dosage, at my own suggestion, he was very receptive.

So, what prompted me, exactly, to lower my dosage?

Well, I’ve been sleeping terribly.  I’ve been having anxiety-related chest pains pretty regularly.  And heart palpitations.  I’ve been feeling light headed.  These symptoms and I have a long history together, but of course Dr. J took a listen to the ticker to rule out any other more serious cardio condition first.  So my heart is healthy, and the symptoms, unsurprisingly, are anxiety-related.

Really, I think as I go through this transition, I will be jettisoning some old fears, and those will be painful as they leave my body.  I think I am digging out some soreness and letting it go and that is a difficult process.  Healing always hurts.  But I am confident I will feel a lot better on the other side of this transition.  Or rather, out of these particular woods, because as I am learning, my transition, your transitions, are never really complete, are they?  The bodily changes the testosterone is causing may peak and level off, but I will always be an evolving human, and so will you.

I’m also realizing that I can do all the yoga and meditation and exercise I want, but until I look at my history, and the pain and trauma it has caused me, the anxiety symptoms will always come back.  Until I get to some trans support group and talk about how painful it was to hide this part of myself for so long, and make some friends who are having the same social and psychological problems I am (and release some of this internalized transphobia), until I go to some Al-Anon meetings and work through the pain my mother and her alcoholism has caused me, I will never be rid of these sleepless nights, these chest pains, these feelings of inadequacy and timidity.

Wish me luck, and be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

9 thoughts on “Testosterone Update

  1. I fight anxiety with exhaustion. It works really well. I’m not sure about dealing with the past, though. Sometimes we just have to accept it was rubbish and nothing can be said or done to give us back the lost time or compensate us for the suffering. I’ve decided that for me the least time I spend reviewing what happened the better; But you can only do that after you’re comfortable with knowing who was to blame for what- I can tell you without knowing you personally that it was not your fault. Don’t let anyone drag you down now, not any more. They had your time and attention and they wasted it. Everyone lost, but you don’t have to continue to live in that world. You’ve moved on. You’ve got a great partner, you’re life is going in the right direction. Try to enjoy that.

    • I hear ya, Ed.

      I think, for me, right now, I still have some of the past to look at and let go of, so it’s too soon for me to pack it in and call it sorted. So I’m still going through and labeling all these old memories and pain, so I can put them in boxes and never look back, as it were.

      I surely enjoy my life, and my partner, but to feel some relief from this anxiety, I think I have to spend some of my time in the past, as it comes up. And it is sure surfacing now.

      -E

  2. I can’t believe how many demons we share. I have been trying several different meds for anxiety but no magic bullet yet. All the pain stuffed over decades has to come out. The best I can do is try for a controlled release.

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