Just heard from my doctor. Turns out I was right: My testosterone is high, which led to increased body hair growth and…um…randiness. We’re going up to 150 mg/day of spironolactone, from 100mg, and 4mg/day of estrodiol, from 2mg/day.
Posts tagged: hormones
Latest hormone updates. At 4 mg/day, my estrogen is at 1676, down from 4626. So I’m going down to 2 mg/day. Hopefully this magic dose will cause my anxiety and depression to fly away, like a 2-year-long bout of PMS…
Back from the doctor. Going back on lexapro, 20mg/day. If and when I go off again, I will not go cold turkey. Lesson learned.
He’s also dropping me from 6mg/day to 4 of estradiol. His thought is that my estrogen (~4,500, literally an order of magnitude higher than it should be) coupled with my testosterone (a reasonably low 12) means that A) I can afford to drop estrogen more without impacting my testosterone levels, body hair, mood, etc, and B) dropping estrogen might actually help with my anxiety and depression.
This isn’t new info, but he also gave me a temporary perscrption of klonopin, a much stronger anti-anxiety medication. The idea is that I’ll use that to keep me sane for the next week or two, until the reduced estradiol and increased lexapro kicked in.
Fingers crossed, cuz what I’m experiencing right now fucking sucks.
I heard back from my doc, and apparently my estrogen levels were 4626. Eek! Here’s what he said about estrogen versus estradiol levels:
Serum estrogen levels measures all estrogens in your blood whether given as an Rx, or produced naturally. Estradiol measure a single type of estrogen that is made naturally in a genetic female. So, for our purposes estrogen is what we measure.
In the meantime, I’m down to 3 pills (6 mg) a day, from the original 10. Hopefully I won’t start sprouting gorilla hair. 😉
Two weeks ago, I went to a new doctor. I like him a lot, and he’s very trans-friendly. To make sure everything was OK, we did some blood work. There was no reason to suspect anything was wrong (and nothing major was wrong) he just wanted to get base levels, and I wanted to get STD testing done since it’s been over a year since I was last tested.
Good news first: No HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis. Huzzah! (Again, I had no reason to suspect I was carrying any of those, but it’s nice to be told “You’re not sick.”)
I also feel pretty good about my cholesterol. Historically, my overall levels have been fine, but my HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) has been low and my LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) has been high. Like, way high. It’s supposed to be under 100 units per whatever (I have no idea, honestly), and mine has historically been near 200. And my HDL has usually been in the 20s, when it’s supposed to be above 40. But today, my LDL was 101 and HDL was 41! Not amazing, sure, but it’s awesome that my relatively moderate dietary changes, coupling with exercising more, have paid off.
Much more interesting, however, were my hormone levels.
It’s been almost exactly a year since I posted about feeling frustrated during rehearsals for the show I was in because I no longer had the muscle mass I was used to. Well, I’m finally registering for another circus class at work, a full year since I last had a free enough schedule to take a class. The class starts in a few weeks, and I’m a little nervous about it – I’ve gained zero pounds in the last 12 months, but have made gains in the T-n-A department (wink wink, nudge nudge). And, as I’m well aware, that fat (unfortunately) isn’t just magically taking plumpness from my belly, it’s also taking muscle mass. I haven’t been doing circus recently, so won’t have the “oh shit, I just did this last week and now can’t” experience I had a year ago, but while working on rigging stuff I have noticed it’s harder to haul myself up to the grid and such.
That said, I do take some consolation in the fact that I haven’t gained weight. (Indeed, I’m down from my max weight sometime in college.) I’d still like to lose about 10 pounds, but hopefully with the regular exercise from class and finally being able to bike to work, that’ll be achievable. We’ll see.
(As a side note, on the topic of being able to bike to work, what the fuck were the two inches of snow doing falling from the sky on Monday?)
I know a place where no one’s lost,
I know a place where no one cries,
Crying at all is not allowed,
Not in my castle on a cloud.
–Lyrics from ‘Castle on a Cloud’ from Les Miserables
Les Mis is some of the earliest music I learned on the piano that I still play regularly. In fact, come to think of it, I’ve probably been playing Les Mis (and using the same beat-up book of sheet music) for over ten years. And, although ‘Castle on a Cloud’ isn’t my favorite song from the musical, a place usually reserved for ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ or ‘On My Onw,’ I do think it’s an evocative metaphor.
That said, the verse I quoted above never sat right with me. I completely understand wanting to exist in a place where no one is lost, and where there is no need to cry. That makes perfect sense. But the idea of not being allowed to cry always made me kind of sad; sometimes the grief of living just needs to come out in tears.
I’ve been crying a lot more lately than I’m used to, and it’s made me think about how I handle my emotions.
I am all over the place in new and exciting ways. Yesterday I was having a really good day until, for reasons not entirely clear in retrospect, I started crying at G. (Prompting her to say, “Oh my god, you’re 13,” which did make me laugh.)
So yeah. I’m going through puberty in a major way. The first time around wasn’t very fun, and this time (even if it’s going in a better direction) still isn’t too fun.
I’m doing a lot better than I was in my previous post, in no small part due to G being awesome and giving me a good pep talk. (And
browbeating gently encouraging me to schedule an apointment with my therapist.) She also reminded me that not everything about going back on hormones is sunshine and roses (my words, not hers). Specifically, I know from experience that they can contribute to extreme emotions and, as she so-diplomatically put it, “I don’t think you should question what you’re feeling, but remember that hormones effects how you feel it.”
(Sorry in advance to anyone who knows me in person and is weirded out by this too-much-information post.)
Just got a call from the lab tech at the fertility clinic I ended up going to and he said he was able to recover four viable samples from second ‘deposit,’ for a total of five viable samples. (Which means that if/when I chose to use ’em, I’ll have five tries.)
So I get to go back on hormones!
It’s not all great news, as the samples apparently had about 50% mobility, which means I have tired, lazy sperm. As a result, if/when the samples are used my partner will have to be impregnated by in-vitro fertilisation, rather than artifical insemination. There’s sort of nothing to do about that now (ideally, I would have made the deposits before going on hormones at all, and hopefully had a higher mobility rate) but IVF is more expensive and more medically complicated than artifical insemination, which is unfortunate.
All in all, I’m ready to go home right now and start popin’ hormone pills again.