I jumped the gun a little and started taking the testosterone blockers 5 days earlier than I should, with my first one on Tuesday 25th October. Today (27th October,) after 4 weeks of taking estrogen (28 days later to be precise) I’m noticing no changes, as is expected, and thankfully no difference in my emotional state. It will be interesting to see how the testosterone blockers affect me or even if I notice anything at all over the next 2-months before my next hospital appointment. While I shouldn’t necessarily have noticed any changes after only 1-month, I’m suspecting that my doctor has wisely started me with low levels due to possible complications which could be associated with my diabetes, and also because I’m 42 years of age, so my reaction to low levels are best tested before being stepped up.
I’m not noticing any adverse side effects either so far, so I’m not in need of going back to discuss the situation with Doctor Patcharin before my December appointment, but I’d recommend to anyone going through this who has any concerns at all, to make an appointment and consult your doctor right away.
At my appointment in September, I rather naively accepted what the doctor prescribed without asking many questions about it at all – probably because I was so keen to get started – but I really should have. In part this was because I was anxious to be allowed to start treatment and would have likely jumped through whatever hoops they set in order to do so. Now that anxiety has gone, I’m able to think with a clearer head what I need to ask at my next appointment on December 16th, and I’ll note my concerns down as and when they occur to me.
Even though I made my decision and feel some relief at starting treatment, I do still continually doubt myself and wonder if what I’m doing is the right thing for me. I expect I’ll continue to do so throughout my life and it’s something I will benefit from discussing during my counseling sessions. Some of my self-doubt stems from an occasional nagging shame I have to be transgender. It really is detestable to be ashamed of what you are, but during my more vulnerable moments, I am.
I watched a bit of a programme on UK TV last night called “The Face Says it All” (I think) and there were a number of contestants from a transgender pageant giving soundbites quite near the start. As I often do when I see other transgender women in media, I felt uncomfortable and quite embarrassed. 99% of the time, older MTF transgendered women that you see on television can be easily identified as being obviously not genetic females, and I believe my embarrassment comes from the idea that people will look at me in the same way I sometimes look at other trans women – with the thought that they look a little stupid; that they look like a man in a dress with makeup on. I know it’s a really awful thing to think, especially as I’m transgender myself, but I grew up in the 70’s/80’s where transgender simply wasn’t portrayed on television, at least not in any dignified fashion. Instead, men in dresses frequently appeared in variety shows, sketch shows and sit coms as something laughable, inviting scorn and ridicule.
I fear failing to come across as a genetic female, which I inevitably will, and having people ridicule me, even if that ridicule is only ever contained in their private thoughts and not voiced. I worry that I can’t help but look anything but a bit stupid because I’m not a genetic female, and I want to be taken seriously. The attitude I’ve confessed to having here is vile, but I’m without doubt that’s it’s an attitude many people have, especially those of my generation or older. I’m really not proud of it and I will work at changing it, but it affects my pride, confidence and happiness. I really don’t want people to look at me in the way I look at others.
Part of this blog’s purpose is for me to work through issues I have which may be shared by others, and this entry has ended up quite a personal confession and revelation for me. A cyber friend of mine said to me today that I’m a detail oriented worrier, and I think that rings fairly true in quite a few respects, which is why I find writing this account of my transition and emotions very cathartic.
Let’s see what another 28 days of estrogen, now paired with testosterone blockers, as well as the usual self evaluation will do!
(Still nothing back from Yanhee Hospital about starting a support group)