Sunday, February 26, 2006

Days 19-21

I'm approaching three weeks on T, and I'm finally starting to break out. I'm using a medicated face wash, a gel, Pear soap, a medicated face scrub, face moisturizer, and Retin-A (not all at once). These seem to be helping. I've also got a pack of Proactiv -- the big gun -- which I'm saving for when this gets worse.

And I have to admit it, I was pretty moody yesterday. I wanted to pick a fight with E., though she had been great all day. And even after we talked, I still couldn't seem to shake it, and so I kept wanting to fight with her. And then, even later, when I was done being stupid and petty, I was so busy being mad at myself for being moody and ruining our night together, that it was hard to enjoy what little time we had left. I've had this mood before, and extreme stress and a lack of quality time with E. are usually the factors that set it off, but I hate that I wanted to keep fighting, especially with the one person who loves me the most. She said that I was fighting because I didn't want to cry. I think she was right. If I could have just broken down and sobbed, I might have gotten past it and moved on.

And my sex drive: I seem to be slightly more interested in sex, whether it's with E. or with myself.

And a blow to my vanity: I seem to have gained two pounds, even though I barely ate last week. I did have rice and a bit of ice cream on Friday night at that Thai place we love... but TWO pounds? That totally bums me out.

You know, maybe if world leaders cried more, there would be fewer wars. I'm tellin ya, because last night I just wanted to punch something, I was so mad and riled up inside. And that mad was also tied to fear, somehow. And all of it could have been spilt with blood... or with tears. Tears seem safer. Men need to cry more. But the world needs to make it easier for men to do this. And that includes women; women need to make it more acceptable for men to cry. E. makes is easier for me to cry, and she never sees me ass less of a man for doing so. I'm lucky.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Days 15-18

There is almost too much to say. Almost.

Monday was day 15, my two-week mark -- and had it not been deemed important that we should all slack off to pay homage to the various and sundry Presidents of this country, and other countries, too, and probably the odd student council president-- then I would have been at the clinic getting my second T shot. As it was, the honor fell to Tuesday.

And it was momentous. The Letter slid into my leg with nary a tear, nor even a sniffle. In fact, I was quite excited by the whole thing, and had a blast with the nurse as she talked me through all the steps once again, and for the first time EVER in my life, I gave myself a shot! The actual putting of the needle into the flesh of my leg gave me pause, but I plunged ahead, so to speak. I put the needle in and removed it rather slowly, and next time I will be a little more decisive, and a little less fascinated. I slid The Letter in very slowly -- hoping to allay some soreness later (pish-posh, I'm still sore) -- and then I applied pressure to the needle-trauma-wound (aka drop of blood) with a gauze and massaged gently. Then on with the bandaid, a cheer from my nurse, who was almost as proud of me as I was, and I was allowed to pull my pants up. I will now execute a deep bow to your thunderous applause.

(See separate post for a technical-but-boring play-by-play of the actual injection process.)

Tuesday was also grand for another reason: my Homoerotic Haircut! I do not jest. (I say homoerotic, since most barbers are men and most barbershop clients are men. Meaning this is an accurate description most of the time.) Haircuts are like fresh starts, they make you feel new again. One might draw the simitiltude that an orgasm does the same. You might say it's a stretch, but my 60-year-old Hispanic barber clipped, snipped, and finished me off with the Warm Shaving Cream Treatment: A smear around my ears, a smudge down my neck; then with a straight-razor laid firmly against my throat, my very life hanging in the balance, he scraped me clean... clean-cut, that is. These are oft' ignored erogenous zones, having fallen by the wayside of a committed relationship. Might I vote for their reinstatement!

And finally, some relief to the south-of-the-equator itching! Not a complete cure yet, but on doctorial advice, switching to a milder soap -- the doc recommended Dove or Ivory, but I have this Pear stuff I use for my face -- the itching has reduced drastically. If all else fails, I will submit to the 1-pill-wonder of yeast infection treatments (vastly better than the over-the-counter alternatives). I also trimmed; hey, anything to make it go away.

And since we are in the equatorial zone, might I say that my early, irregular period has ended early as well. Thank the gods.

My leg is now, two days later, still sore. A heating pad, yesterday, I discovered feels wonderful, but doesn't necessarily make me less sore.

And Tuesday's yoga class, before I became the Two-Day-Gimp, was rather successful. I could hold a Side Plank for about two seconds longer than usual. Am I getting stronger, is it the T, or both?

And I have a stellar graphic to post, since words can be so... wordy, but I can't f*&!ing figure how to do it yet!! So, that'll have to be for another day.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Day 14

What am I thinking?!

Writer, actor, partner, man, responsible member of society, productive citizen, lover, someone who can earn a living and pay their own way in this world...

...what am I thinking? I actually believe I can do all this?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Days 10-13

Oy. I'm getting tied up with various writing projects and, well, Life. Probably a good sign that my life is not revolving around this. This being The Letter. (The Letter being T.)

However, my body has been doing what it can to get my attention. I've had a couple of hot flashes. This Racehorse Anxiety, as I'm going to call it, has hit me at least once everyday. I feel like I want to jump out of my skin, but am managing not to do so with some deep breathing and a bit of Ativan. E. informed me on Wednesday morning that she thinks I'm beginning to smell different. And. Horror of horrors. I seem to be bleeding out my period A WEEK EARLY.

Okay, let's take those one by one. Hot flashes: It's winter, a little boost in my heating system's not so bad. However, hot flashes make me sweaty. I'm not a big fan of sweaty...mostly because it can lead to smelly if not handled properly.

Two by two. Racehorse Anxiety: Thank god I meditate and get some regular exercise, otherwise I'd probably clinging to the ceiling right now and shaking like a wet dog. The Ativan definately helps, but I am also trying to drink more tea.

(Tea. Get it? Haha... Aw, nevermind.)

Three by three. Smell: I now put a bit of deoderant on before bed. What can I say, I've always put a great deal of effort into my scent. Soap, lotion, cologne, how it mixes with my own pheremones, these are important things to me. The thought of smelling different is...okay, I guess. But the thought of smelling bad is appalling. I have a very sensitive nose and always have. I feel aware of my own smell in a way I never was before. It's not bad, yet, but the fact that I feel like I can smell myself is disturbing. Suffice it to say, I made E. smell me at least three times yesterday. I am somebody who smells good. I refuse to let that change.

Four by four. My period. I'm never early. I always get debilitating cramps (which I heavily medicate). This month, my period came early, no cramps whatsoever. It doesn't even really feel like a period. It just feels like my body's emptying itself out.

Oh yeah, and five by five, I'm frickin itchy. Down there. Can't tell if it's a moisture issue or a yeast issue, though I barely eat any sugar as it is, so I don't know what the yeast would be feeding itself on. But itching down there...man, it's like Chinese water torture. It makes me very cranky.

All that being said, I'm completely excited to get my next shot, on Tuesday. I hear if I slide The Letter into my leg oh-so-slowly, it won't be so sore over the few days following. I'm gonna try that.

I apologize to Chinese people if Water Torture is offensive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Days 8 & 9

I had a headache on Monday. I never get headaches. My face seems to be oilier. I think I smell different -- not bad, just different, or stronger maybe -- down there. I can't be sure, but I think the hair on my upper lip is at least a nanometer longer than it was yesterday... Are these T-sightings? Hard to say just yet.

Today is not Valentine's Day. Well, okay, it is Valentine's Day, but it's also our anniversary. E. and I are officially 6 years old. We're well past toddlers. Oh don't. You did. No, it's not cute. I did not intend to kiss E. for the first time on V. Day. Really, I didn't.

Flashback: February 2000
E. You know what today is.
D. I know, it's totally cheesy.
E. It really is.
D. I can't help that today is today.
E. I know.
D. But I'll be damned if I'm going to wait until tomorrow.
E. Mmm.
D. See, that's what I mean!
E. (...)
D. Arr.
(Smooching ensues.)

See? Not my fault. If E. was less sexy, and I less of a beast, perhaps our anniversary would have been the 15th. But! We never have to celebrate V. Day. Ever. But! I do get annoyed that so many people feel the need to celebrate our anniversary. And the price of flowers, good lord!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Days 6 & 7

The weekend brought a record-breaking 29 inches of snow. It also brought -- despite my exfoliating, my cleansing, my medicating, my moisturizing -- some bumps, some peeling, and the threat of acne. I'm doing everything I can to prevent the acne-onslaught T will no doubt bring. I am, perhaps, doing too much... but I cannot yet bring myself to cut down on dairy. It just seems wrong to ask that of someone. And especially wrong to ask that of me.

Last night and today also saw some heart races, and not the romantic kind. I thought the muscle would fibrillate right out of my chest, though my pulse only clocked in at about 82. I wanted very much to claw my way to the speeding organ and hold it still with my bare hand. (This, wisely, I did not do.) It seems like textbook anxiety, but the Anxiety I know and fear usually arrives with a slightly different calling card. It felt like I was holding in a scream.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Days 4 & 5

All's well. A bit tired at the gym on Thursday night, and again at yoga today. I had to nap in the afternoon, but so did E., so it's probably not related to the T.

Also, I've been thinking: Why do I have to tell my family? I'm not sure it's any of their business. I'm not sure it's anyone's business but my own.

Except E. We're in the same business. In business together.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Day 4

My leg is less lumpy where the injection was given, but still a bit, and soreness is all but gone.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Day 3

The day started out fine. My dermatologist said better skin can be achieved by cutting down on salt (fine), sugar (no problem) and dairy (what?!). But milk, especially organic milk, does a body good, doesn't it?

The day would have sailed along rather smoothly, but instead my ship was scuttled by the poisonous politics at The Worst School for Drama. I managed not to hit anything on my way out. I wonder if this feat of restraint will get harder the longer I'm on the T? I made it home, and laying in bed with E., finally was able to let all that rage out. I sobbed.

Squeezed in there was also the first trans support group of this session. At least 30 guys showed up. It's nice to be around other guys like me, and to know that I'm not the only one who thinks there should be more than two choices. But it made me sad, too. It shouldn't have to be this hard.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Day 2

Yesterday was my second day on T: smooth sailing, clear skies, and a still-sore leg. Last night was yoga at the Y: downward dog, upward-facing dog, panting dog. My leg got a work out.

Today my leg is very sore and I'm trying not to limp. Tonight is the first trans support group meeting for the new session.

My biggest concern last night was why Commander in Chief was not on ABC at 9pm?! (Though, if that's my biggest concern, I'd say things are going well.)

Still haven't told my family that I've started T...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

T-1

Yesterday was T-1. Well, more like T-1/2...cc, that is.

Prior to yesterday, I thought that perhaps the world would come to a halt, take a moment, then begin spinning in the other direction. Perhaps the sky would turn pink, and surely, I thought, large, furry mule-like ears would sprout from the top of my head.

Instead, yesterday was T-1 -- my first shot of testosterone -- and this is roughly how it went:

8:02am - woke up rather excited about the whole thing
9:25am - had a stupid argument with E.
9:26-10:24am – grumped
10:25-11:10am - informed my therapist she wasn't doing her job efficiently enough
11:11-11:49am - waited for E.
11:50am - E. arrived to see me mucho grumpo
12:05pm - on a cold, windy 14th street, E. cries, I held her (we are in love still and always)
12:20pm - E.'s tears began to freeze
12:25pm - lunch at Thai joint
1:30pm - waiting
2:15pm - meet with Doc, sign away life, get script
2:45pm - trek to the pharmacy
2:46-3:30pm - waiting
3:31pm - tried not to cry
3:32pm - insurance covered half
3:33pm - trek to clinic
3:45-4:00pm - got my shot (it didn't hurt at all)
4:01-4:20pm - cried on the cold, windy street, E. held me (we are in love still and always)
4:30pm - walked in late to class
6:10pm - wondered if i did the right thing
6:45pm - tried not cry
8:10pm - is it too late to suck it out of my leg?
9:16pm - felt good, happy even, looked forward to a late-night beer (probably a cheap Pabst)
10:25pm - my leg was a little sore
1:01am - my leg was a little more sore
2:02am - kissed E. goodnight

But still, the sky is blue and my ears look the same.